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America s Heroes Won the Medal of 
Honor. Personal Reminiscences and Rec 
ords of Officers and Enlisted Men who 
were awarded the. Congressional Medal 
of Honor for most conspicuous acts of 
bravery in battle, combined with an 
abridged History of Our Country s Wars 
(including War in Philippines). Compiled 
by W. F. Bayer and O. F. Keydel. Intro 
duction by Gen, H. M. Duffield. 32 
colored page plates. 245 engravings and 
hundreds of portraits. 2 vols. 4to. cloth, 
gilt. 1,114 pp. Detroit, 1901. ($10.00 net.) 
Fine copy. $5.00 




















Sim it s must no/ be reprinted without special permission. 





BY DIRECTION of the President, the following regu 
lations are promulgated respecting the award of 
Medals of Honor: 

Medals of Honor authorized by the Act of Congress 
approved March 8, 1863, are awarded to officers and 
enlisted men, in the name of the Congress, for particular 
deeds of most distinguished gallantry in action. 

In order that the Congressional Medal of Honor 
may be deserved, service must have been performed in 
action of such a conspicuous character as to clearly dis 
tinguish the man for gallantry and intrepidity above his 
comrades service that involved extreme jeopardy of 
life or the performance of extraordinarily hazardous duty. 
Recommendations for the decoration will be judged 
by this standard of extraordinary merit, and incontestible 
proof of performance of the service will be exacted. 

Soldiers of the Union have ever displayed brav 

ery in battle, else 
victories could not 
have been gained; 
but as courage 
and self-sacrifice 
are the character 
istics of every true 
soldier,sucha badge 
of distinction as the 
Congressional Medal is not to be expected as the reward 
of conduct that does not clearly distinguish the soldier 
above other men, whose bravery and gallantry have been 
proved in battle. * * * 

Recommendations for medals on account of service 
rendered subsequent to January 1, 1890, will be made 
by the commanding officer at the time of the action or 
by an officer or soldier having personal cognizance of the 
act for which the badge of honor is claimed, and the 
recommendation will embrace a detailed recital of all 
the facts and circumstances. Certificates of officers or 
the affidavits of enlisted men who were eyewitnesses of 
the act will also be submitted if practicable. 

In cases that may arise for service performed here 
after, recommendations for award of medals must be for 
warded within one year after the performance of the act 
for which the award is claimed. Commanding officers 
will thoroughly investigate all cases of recommendations 
for Congressional Medals arising in their commands, and 
indorse their opinion upon the papers, which will be for 
warded to the Adjutant-General of the Army through 
regular channels. 






the progress of the War of the Rebellion, in July, 1862, and 
March, 1803, Congress provided by joint resolution for Medals 
of Honor for most distinguished gallantry in action. Under the 
regulations of the War Department pursuant to these joint resolutions it 
is provided that every soldier and sailor in the service of the United States, 
who, outside of the strict line of his duty and beyond the orders of his superiors, 
performed an act of conspicuous bravery of advantage to the service, should be 
rewarded by receiving a " Medal of Honor," specially struck for that purpose, 
on satisfactory proof being presented of the circumstances of the act. From the 
beginning of the War of the Rebellion to the opening of the war with Spain, only 
about 1 .400 of these medals were granted, including all those given for services in the 
Indian Wars which intervened. For services in the Spanish War, only 26 medals 

were awarded. When it is considered that nearly two millions of men served in these wars, and that 
their course was marked with innumerable gallant actions, the signal merit of the actions which 
earned the medals and the care with which the proof was scrutinized, may be better appreciated. 
Mere recklessness of danger, when duty is to be performed or orders obeyed, is a common attribute 
of all American soldiers, and those who received the Medal of Honor were doubtless, in many cases, 
more fortunate in opportunity rather than braver of heart than their comrades ^ yet the fact that less 
than 1,400 out of two millions wear this badge of heroism marks the wearers as soldiers of extraordi 
nary merit and heroism. 

The official record of these stories of heroic deeds in the service of the Republic is of the most 
meager character, a mere line, with the name of the individual, his company and regiment, and a 
brief phrase designating the character of his achievement, without any of the details which would give 
it life and dramatic interest. It scarcely rises above the form of a tabular statement. As time passed, 
the heroes of these deeds were rapidly disappearing from the stage of life, and soon all recollection 
of the essential features of their achievements, would be buried in the graves of those who performed 
and witnessed them. The design of this work was to gather these details together, verified by the 
medal bearers, their superior officers, or other witnesses, and present them to the American public in 
a form worthy of the subject. 

The work has been by no means an easy one. It involved several years of arduous pursuit by the 
compilers, voluminous correspondence and exhaustive search ; but it has been accomplished with a 
degree of completeness which was hardly to be expected. The compilers have had the advantage of 
the zealous assistance of every officer of the army to whom they applied, access to the official reports 
of the War Department, and written reports of the incidents from the medal holders themselves. So 
far therefore, as historical accuracy is concerned, there is little apology to be made for the work. As 
to its literary merit, it may be said that much of it is in the simple and modest language of the heroes 
themselves, who have minimized their own merits, and taken from their narratives much of the 

ma-t lc- infc&re st which a 1 disinterested witness would have found in the deeds they performed. Many 
of the incidents, on the other hand, have been related by officers who were witnesses of the deeds of 
their subordinates, and who had the literary skill to mark and describe them in the manner they 
deserved, but without exaggeration or embellisluiient. 

The editing of the work was committed to competent hands, whose chief purpose was to eliminate 
crudities, and to avoid extravagant expressions to which such a work was easily liable. Whatsoever 
may be its demerits, its publishers may at least fairly claim that it is a truthful and modest narration 
of the most heroic personal achievements of our soldiers during the past half century, verified by com 
petent officers, and sustained by proofs which have been accepted by the Government of the United 
States as evidence of the facts which deserved the distinguishing acknowledgment of the Medal 
of Honor. 

Brigadier-General, U. 5. Volunteers 


THE pages of our country s history abound with instances of the most lofty courage, which thrill 
the pulse and kindle the spirit of every true patriot. Congress itself has singled out many 
of these instances and given them special recognition. It has provided for a medal, known 
as the " Medal of Honor." It is the nation s grateful acknowledgment of a great and heroic deed, 
a reward for such gallant services in action as make him who renders them conspicuous among 
his comrades. 

The heart beats faster and the blood courses through the veins more rapidly, as one reads these 
simple stories published in the heroes own modest words. These narrations speak for themselves. 
Editorial embellishment could only detract from their value. 

The footnotes which accompany the several descriptions are intended to give a brief review of 
the historic events to which they refer. In this manner the reader will obtain an abridged history of 
our several wars, including the campaign in the Philippine Islands, illuminated by the thrilling acts 
of the nation s heroes. t 

To the contributors of the narrations, and all who have assisted in this task, and especially to 
General Lewellyn G. Estes and Captain James R. Durham, Washington, D. C., and His Excellency, 
Hazen S. Pingree, Governor of the State of Michigan, the compilers feel themselves deeply indebted. 

The compilers submit this work for the approval of the American people, hoping that their effort 
to preserve these heroic episodes in a permanent and worthy form, before all recollection of them 
has passed away, will not have been in vain, and that the result will be a monument to remind gen 
eration after generation of Americans of the heroism of their fathers. 




HE first act, in order of 
time, for which a Medal 
of Honor was awarded, was 
that of Corporal J ohn C. Hesse 
and Sergeant-Major Joseph 
K. Wilson. At the outbreak 
of the rebellion the headquar 
ters of the Eighth IT. S. In 
fantry were at San Antonio, Texas. 
On the 23d of April, 1861, the post 
was seized, and the officers and a few 
enlisted men, at the time present at San 
Antonio, were taken prisoners by the rebel troops, 
under command of Colonel Van Dorn. The prisoners 
were at once released and were permitted to go North 
as best they could. 

"A few days subsequent to the capture," said John C. 
Hesse, "upon going to the former office of the regimental 
headquarters, the building being then in possession and 
under control of the rebels, I met Lieutenant Hartz and 
Sergeant-Major Joseph Wilson. Our regimental colors 
were in the office, and Lieutenant Hartz said, Hesse, sup 
pose you and Wilson go in there, take the colors from 
the staff, conceal them about your clothing, and try to 
carry them off. Wilson and I went in; I took the torn 
colors, which the regiment had carried through the 
Mexican War, put them around my body under my 
shirt and blouse, and passed out of the building, which 
was strongly guarded by the rebels. Fortunately, they did not suspect what a 
precious load we carried with us. We later put the colors in one of Lieutenant 
Hartz s trunks, and left San Antonio the next day for the North. We arrived 
in Washington on the 20th of May, and turned the flag over to the regiment." 



Co. A, 8th U.S. 


The War of the Rebellion opened with several small actions, such as the storming of Fort Sum- 
ter, the seizure of forts and navy yards by the Confederates, several skirmishes in different parts of the 
country, principally those which were fought with the object of securing control of the States, which 
were divided upon the question of secession, and the abandonment of forts in the Southern States by 
U. S. troops. 




Sergeant, 139th X. Y. S. V. 
Highest rank attained : 

Born at Boulogne, France, 1842. 

IN JUNE, 1861. Lieutenant, then Sergeant Jamieson, 
first distinguished himself as a soldier. It was at 
Arlington Heights, Va., and in reference to the deed 
he says : " We had a drove of forty head of cattle 
in camp, and the rebels managed to get them away 
one night. The officers and men were furious at 
the loss, because beef was needed to properly pre 
pare the men for the work in the trenches. A de 
tail was ordered out from each regiment of cavalry 
and infantry present. I was one of the detail of 
the Twenty-eighth. We marched past Bailey s cross 
roads on the Fairfax Courthouse road, deploying 
and scattering through the woods in search of the 
missing cattle, but without success. Late in the afternoon we were recalled 
and ordered to return to camp. 

"I made up my mind to find those cattle, so T stole away alone, expecting 
to return to camp during the night. About sundown 1 found the missing 
cattle hidden in a ravine, and started to drive them to camp. A man who 
had charge of them came rushing up. Seeing my gray militia uniform, he mis 
took me for a Confederate and yelled out : You damn fool, don t you know that 
the Yankee cavalry is out after these cattle ? Keep em here until night. By this 
time he had come up to me, so I brought my rifle down on him, and told him 
I was one of those Damned Yankees : that I was sorry to have come across 
him, but as the affair stood he would have to help me drive the cattle into 
camp. The arguments I used were strong and convincing and he agreed. 

"The two of us brought the cattle in before daybreak, but at one time my 
success looked dubious in the extreme. I stumbled over a stump, had a bad 
fall and my gun landed several feet away from me. The rebel got to it first, 
but I was upon him before he could straighten up. We had a little tussle, 
during which my early training in boxing served me well, and I frightened him 
so that he tried no more tricks on me during the remainder of the trip. We 
reached Bailey s crossroads and the outside pickets before daybreak in safety. 
The sight of the cattle was countersign enough, and we passed all the pickets. 
I took the rebel to the guardhouse and reached my own tent just as reveille 
sounded at headquarters." 

From June 1 to July 20, 1861, there were frequent skirmishes and engagements in Virginia, West 
Virginia, Maryland, and Missouri, in which the advantage was in favor of the Federals. At none of the 
engagements during this period did the opposing forces exceed 4,000. 

LIEUTENANT JAMIESON S second conspicuous act of bravery is related as fol 
lows: "On the 29th of July, 1864, we occupied the entrenchments on the right 
of the line of works in front of Petersburg, Va., our brigade resting on the 
bank of the Appomattox River. The fighting during the night had been severe 
and the intense heat of the previous day had not abated when morning came. 


"After swallowing my coffee and hard-tack, I took my rifle and went to my 
lookout hole to see how the field appeared by daylight. It looked far worse 
than the day before, most of the wounded had died. The body of the captain 
that T had so often looked at regretfully was nowhere to be seen. What could 
have happened to him, I wondered. I was sure he could not have been carried 
away, for we had watched the field too closely by the musketry flashes for that 
to be accomplished. During the forenoon some of our men made him out, over 
near the other side, and, sure enough, he was alive, lying on his back, fanning 

himself with a rebel hat a black one with a very broad rim. Some rebels 
had gotten to him during the night and swapped hats. 

The heat was terrible, but the firing on both sides never ceased. Towards 
evening it was reported that we were to be relieved as soon it grew dark. As 
I gazed at the poor captain, my feelings got the better of me, and I made up 
my mind not to let the poor fellow die there in agony. As the evening closed 
in, my resolution to save him grew T more fixed. I wanted it to be just dusk, 
but not so dark that the men could not see the loopholes of the enemy and 
make it dangerous for any one to look through. 

"So I studied the gloaming. I got an empty cracker box, stood it on end 
against the breastworks and, climbing upon it, told the men to throw it over 
after me. Then out I sprang, headforemost, with such force that I landed 
away out on the abatis among the dead, where I tried to appear as one whose 
last fight is fought. I kept quiet for some minutes, and saw that my comrades, 
whom I had left, were getting to work in earnest and firing rapidly, which 
would keep the enemy from the loopholes. This gave me fresh courage, and I 
started to crawl along the ground, pushing the dead bodies so as to cover my 
movements on my return. 

" When I reached the spot where the captain lay, I could feel the concus 
sion of the rebel guns upon my face. I lay alongside of him and whispered to 
him to roll upon my back. With my load I started to crawl towards our lines, 
making a few inches with each effort, until I reached the abatis. I could not 
pull him through, and asked some one to lend me a hand. The orderly ser 
geant of Company C, of our regiment, jumped over to me. It was now getting 
dark, so we lifted him over the sticks and threw him into the arms of our com 
rades. I found a stretcher, and with the aid of some men carried him to the 
Ninth Corps Hospital." 

AGAIN at Fort Harrison, Lieutenant Jamieson and Sergeant Wolff captured 
the fort entirely unaided. 

"Fort Harrison was one of the many forts upon the main line of the de 
fenses of Richmond, built to resist General McClellan in 1862. The works were 
large and substantial and mounted sixteen heavy guns. To capture this fort it 
would be necessary for some one to lead on the boys, who. though brave enough, 
could not face the withering fire of the protected enemy. Giving my gun to 
Wolff and telling him to follow me, I seized our flag and started to try to 
plant it on the enemy s fortifications. With a rush we reached a place beneath 
their walls, and then, with his aid, I crawled to the top. letting down the flag- 
staff for him to crawl up the side. Then another scramble, and we stood at 
the top of their earthworks. At the sight of the flag the Confederates, thinking 


we were followed by large numbers, turned and fled, all but a few who sur 

"Thereupon I waved the flag around my head and planted it on the top of 
the defense. Our men now came up and took possession of the fort, which we 
held against all efforts of the rebels to retake it." 


FORD, VA., on 
the 18th of July, 
1861. the enemy s 
fire became so 
destructive that 
the command was 
ordered to re 
treat, but Private 
Charles F. Rand, 
not hearing the 
order, did not 
move until the 
entire battalion v 
of 500 men had 
been swept in 
disorder from the 
field. Apparently 
oblivious or in 
different to the 
dangers of his 
position, he held 

his ground with an old Harper s Ferry musket that had been changed from 
a flintlock. 

The ground was plowed in all directions by shell and solid shot, yet the only 
injury he received was from flying dirt and stones. The enemy finally seemed 
to pity him, and refused to fire on him. Even then he would not fall back, 
but worked his way across a deep ravine, where he found the command of 

PrivnU>, Co. K, 12th X. Y. Infantry. 

Captain H. A. Barrum, who were on their faces, firing and turning on their 
backs to load, not being able to rise to their knees. He crept up to them, joined 
the line and fought with it to the end of the engagement. 



T BULL RUN,VA., July 21, 1861, this officer, then a first 
lieutenant, and II. Q. M., Thirty-eighth New York 
Volunteers, took a rifle and fought with his regiment 
in ranks. When the regiment was forced back, he 
voluntarily remained on the field with the wounded, 
was taken prisoner, confined in Libby Prison, thence 
escaped, and after great suffering and privation, made 
his way into the Union lines and rejoined his regi 

The above is the brief, official record of a feat 
of gallantry and an experience of hardship and suffer 
ing which is deserving of more detailed description. 
After the battle, when his position was at the rear 
with his wagon trains, Lieutenant Murphy was re 
peatedly urged to leave the field with the routed army, but steadfastly refused, 
on the ground that not one man could be spared from care of the wounded, and 
chose rather to risk death or capture than leave the men to die uncared for. 

His zealous and efficient aid to the surgeons won him the sobriquet of 
"Doctor," which clung to him at Manassas and Richmond prisons, where he 
was sent after his capture. He says: After reaching Manassas, the rebels, be- 


1st. Lieut., 38th N. Y. Vols. 

Highest rank attained: Colonel. 

Born in Stockport, England, June 3, 1832. 

On the 16th of July, 1861, the Army of the Potomac, numbering about 35,000 under the command 
of General McDowell, occupied the neighborhood of Centerville, Va., about six miles east of the Confederate 
headquarters at Manassas, and contiguous to the stream called Bull Run, which separated the positions of 
General McDowell s Army and that of General Beauregard, whose forces numbered about 40,000. A slight 
repulse to General Taylor s Division of the Federal Army, at Blackburn s Ford, on the 18th of July, was the 
only preliminary engagement to the Battle of Bull Run. On the 21st the advance was made from Center 
ville. Tyler s demonstration at the Stone Bridge, which was to have enabled Burnside s flanking column to 
fall upon the enemy s rear, was feeble, and the flank movement was discovered, and met by Evans with a 
detachment. The rebels were repulsed, and the center of the action was transferred to the Henry House 
plateau, where the Confederates were re-enforced and the Union Army was at length entirely routed, falling 
back to Washington in utter confusion. The Union Army lost in killed, wounded, and missing 2,952 men, 
while the Confederates lost 1,782 men. 


lieving me to be a doctor, offered me parole, but when I found that a sufficient 
number of surgeons was to return to attend the wounded, I peremptorily re 
fused to accept it, and was taken prisoner to Richmond, from which place, with 
two companions, Captain J. R. Hurd and Colonel Wm. H. Raynor, I effected 
an escape, after the most unheard of sufferings and privations." 

There was a large number of prisoners, sick or wounded crowded together 
in the buildings, and the suffering was so terrible that several Union surgeons, 


who were prisoners, were permitted to assist in caring for them. Upon giving 
their parole, they were provided with red rosettes, and allowed to pass from 
one prison to another, and also to go about the city. Among these was Lieu 
tenant Murphy, though not on parole, and, when not on hospital duty, always 
accompanied by an armed guard. 

Captain Hurd, Colonel Raynor, and Lieutenant Murphy planned to escape, by 
passing the guards, wearing red rosettes cut from Captain Kurd s red flannel 
shirt. They succeeded in getting out of the city, and started on their painful 
and hazardous journey north, traveling as rapidly as possible through the night, 
and hiding in the thickets by day, never moving forward by daylight, unless 
under cover of the dense forest, and never free from apprehension of pursuit 
and discovery. Though unarmed they had resolved to fight against any odds, 
and to sell their lives as dearly as possible rather than submit to recapture. 


They suffered terribly from sore feet, and even more from thirst, but, undis- 
couraged, pressed on. For eleven days they struggled on over rough country 
roads, through underbrush and dense woods, enduring hunger and thirst, pain 
and fatigue, chased by rebel sympathizers, passing themselves off as rebel sol 
diers, encountering every kind of obstacle, hardship, and suffering, but still un 
dismayed, and determined to reach their goal. 

When they reached Lower Cedar Point it seemed that their troubles must be 
over, for a Union Revenue Cutter was anchored in the river, but the captain 
made no response to their hail, and soon weighed anchor and sailed down the 
river. This disappointment was a terrible blow to the poor fugitives, who, like 
shipwrecked sailors, had been elated to the highest pitch in hope of relief, by a 
sail on the horizon, only to be cast into greater despair than ever by its disap 
pearance. They passed the night in anxiety and discouragement, surrounded 
by the rebels, and tormented by reflection on their past suffering and present 

In the morning, however, the Cutter returned, and the captain decided to 
take the risk of coming closer and taking them aboard. The neighborhood was 
dangerous, and he had thought their signal in the night a decoy of the enemy 
to get his men ashore. 

The three were sent to Washington on a tug, and when they stepped ashore 
Captain Hurd said : " Boys, I have lived twenty-seven days in the Rocky Moun 
tains on mule s meat, with the snow four feet deep, but that was nothing to 
the hardships we have just gone through." 



1st. Lieut., 5th U. S. Artillery. 

Highest rank attained: Bvt. Maj-Gen., Vols. 

Born in Rockland, Maine. 


IEUTENANT ADELBERT AMES remained upon the 
field in command of a section of Griffin s Battery, 
directing its fire after being severely wounded, and 
refusing to leave the field until too weak to sit 
upon the caisson, where he had been placed by men 
of his command. 

A description of the action of this battery during 
the battle of Bull Run and the conduct of this young 
officer are given in the following story. It illustrates 
the remarkable energy of a brave soldier who refuses 
to leave his post of duty, even though severely 




N THE morning of the 21st of July," writes Corporal McGough, "our Battery D. 
Fifth U. S. Artillery, crossed Bull Run. and, after going through the narrow strip of 
woods, came in full view of the enemy, who had two batteries playing full upon us. 
"While galloping into action, Lieutenant Adelbert Ames, chief of our section, 
was riding alongside our gun, and turning to me said: McGough, I will fire the 
first shot, which he proceeded to do as soon as we were in position. 


" The firing by this time was furious and deadly, and while Lieutenant 
Ames was aiming the piece, a shot pierced his thigh disabling him, whereupon 
he ordered me to report to the captain of the battery, that he had been 
wounded. I told him I could not go at that time, and took my position as 
gunner of the piece, telling him that he had better go to the hospital, as it 
meant sure death for him to stay where he was. His reply was: Not while 
this gun is mounted. 

"About half an hour after. Sergeant Murphy was wounded, and then number 
one of the piece was killed. By the time we got our range we were ordered 
to change our position to one a little further to the northwest, and Lieutenant 
Ames asked me to ride his horse, while he would ride on the limber. He 
remained there, directing the fire of the piece, until he was too weak to hold 


his seat. No sooner had we gotten into position than we were again ordered 
to change, this time to the top of a hill near by. Here we were in an exposed 
position, at close range, and in bringing the piece into action a shot struck the 
wheel, carrying it away and killing Patrick Sullivan. 

Under the galling fire of the enemy s artillery and infantry, we, with great 
difficulty, put on a spare wheel, and got the piece off the field, the other five 
pieces of the battery being captured by the rebels." 


ACCORDING to the offi 
cial report, Private A. 
J. Knowles was honored 
for removing dead and 
wounded under heavy 
fire." He relates his 
experience briefly. 

"On the 21st of 
July, after a des 
perate charge on a 
hill held by the 
rebels, the Second 
Maine Infantry, of 
which I was a mem 
ber, was ordered to 
fall back. The colo 
nel, seeing that a 
number of the men 
were left where they 
had fallen, asked for 
volunteers to go with 
him to bring them within 
the lines. When the colonel 
called for volunteers seven of us 
stepped forward and signified our 
willingness to go with him. 

"The colonel then addressed the 
regiment, saying: Are these seven men the only ones of the Second Maine who 
will follow their colonel to pick up the wounded? 


Private, Co. D, 2d Maine Infantry. 
Born at La Grange, Maine, March 15, 1830. 


"Not another man advanced, and, led by the colonel, we proceeded, under a 
withering fire, to pick up our wounded and bring them within our lines." 

For this General Keyes commended the 
colonel and his seven men in the highest terms. 



HE term of service of the Fourth Pennsyl 
vania Infantry expired on the 20th of July. 
Though Colonel John F. Hartranft urged them 
to remain, the entire regiment, except Captain 
Walter H. Cooke. refused, and were marched 
to the rear. 

Colonel Hartranft then volunteered his 
services and was assigned to the staff of 
Colonel W. B. Franklin, where he rendered 
valuable services, especially distinguishing him 
self attempting to rally the demoralized regi 


Colonel, 4th Pa. Mil. Highest rank attained: 
Maj-Gen., U. S. Vols. 


SERGEANT JOHN G. MERRiTT, Company K, First Minnesota Infantry, distin 
guished himself by "gallantry in action" at the first Bull Run battle. Just 
before the battle he applied for the privilege of selecting four men for 
the purpose of capturing the first Confederate flag that they could get, 
and permission being granted, he selected Sergeant Dudley, Privates Duffee 
and Grim, and a man whose name is unknown. 

Rickett s Battery came directly in front of Company K, of the First Minnesota, 
and gave the enemy a couple of rounds of grape and canister, which threw 
them into the utmost confusion. Merritt, followed by his companions, took 
advantage of this to advance on a color-bearer. He commanded him to sur 
render and seized the colors. The party then made a dash for the regiment, 
but the Confederates, rallying, pursued them, firing a volley which killed Grim 
and the unknown. The next volley killed Duffee and wounded Merritt in the 
leg. Another bullet went through his breast pocket and shivered his pipe to 
pieces. He dropped his gun but held on to the flag, running as fast as possible, 
although impeded by his wounded leg. Before he had gone far he was knocked 
down by a blow on the head with the stock of a musket. While he was still 
helpless, though not unconscious, the rebels pulled the flag from his hands and 
fell back on the run. 

Merritt, assisted by Dudley, managed to escape from the field. 


A FEW days prior to the 10th of August, 1861, the term of service of the 
First Iowa Infantry had expired, and they were asked whether they would take 
their discharges or remain in service until after the expected battle at Wilson s 
Creek. The men, with one accord, decided to remain in service, all of them 

Wilson s Creek. In the month of August, 1861, General Lyon, with a force of 5,500, was at Spring 
field, Mo., confronting 12,000 of the enemy under McCullough and Price. 

After a skirmish at Dug Springs on the 1st, the Union force retreated to Springfield. 

On the 9th, General Lyon moved against the enemy, sending General Sigel, with 1,200 men and six 
guns to gain his rear by the right. 

The frontal attack, led by General Lyon, was energetic and effective, but the flanking party was over 
whelmed, losing five guns and more than half of its men. 

General Lyon was killed at the head of his column, and, the news of Sigel s disaster reaching the 
main division, the troops fell back to Springfield. The Union loss was 1,236; the Confederate, 1,095. 

- 15 

being eager for action. Private Nicholas Bou 
quet, a member of Company D of this regiment, 
describes his experience in the battle as follows : 

"We all wanted to have a whack at the 
Rebels before going home, and, as luck would 
have it, Company D, to which I belonged, along 
with Company E, were detailed by Lieutenant- 
Colonel Merritt to support Totten s Battery. 
This order brought us into a hand-to-hand 
contest with the enemy, and, although we 
were engaging a superior force, we four 
times repulsed them. 

"When the retreat of our forces was 
ordered, after General Lyon had fallen, 
one of the guns of Totten s Battery had 
been left behind, because one of its horses 
had been killed. 

"Being this time on the skirmish line, I was called by the gunner of the 
piece to help catch a riderless horse which was galloping about the field be 
tween the lines. To catch this horse was to save the gun from falling into the 
enemy s hands a most important factor in battle. 

"The enemy were closing in upon us, but, with the thought of saving the 
gun, not heeding the rain of bullets from both lines, we started after the horse, 
and in a short time had him. Leading him with all possible haste to the aban 
doned gun, we soon had him hitched to it. and away we went, following the 
retreating regiment, and in a short time had it safely within the lines of our 


Private. Co. D, 1st Iowa Infantry. 
Born in Bavaria. Germany, Nov. 14, 1842. 

The first important movement after Bull Run, though skirmishes and minor actions were of almost daily 
occurrence, was the capture of Fort Henry, on the Tennessee River, on the 6th of February, 1862, followed on 
the i6th by the surrender of Fort Donelson and 15,000 Confederate troops. The operations were conducted 
by General Grant in co-operation with Commodore Foote and resulted in breaking the Confederate lines at the 
west, giving control of the Mississippi River above Vicksburg to the Federal Government. 

New Berne, N. C. Burnside s attack on New Berne, N. C., was a feature of his Roanoke Expedition, in 
January, 1862, in which he was supported by the fleet in command of Flag Officer Goldsborough. The force 
consisted of 31 gunboats, 11,500 troops, and a fleet of small vessels for transportation. 

On the 14th of March he attacked New Berne. 

The place w&s taken, together with 46 heavy guns, 3 batteries of light artillery, and a supply of 
stores, while Burnside s loss was 90 killed and 466 wounded. 



" A FTER two hours of hard fighting at the 
J\ battle of Shiloh," says Private Elwood N. 
Williams, "we were ordered to beat a retreat, 
with the Thirty-second Alabama Infantry close at 
our heels. Our force, though inadequate, fought 
unflinchingly, and for a time maintained a success 
ful resistance. 

"In the heat of the action a box containing a 
thousand rounds of ammunition was inadvertently 
left between the lines. Colonel Johnson was in 
formed of the fact and immediately called for vol 
unteers to recover the box. W. P. Price a former 
schoolmate of mine, and I volunteered to do this. 

"The box lay about one thousand yards from 
our lines, and in order to reach it under the 
heavy fire of both sides, we were compelled to 
crawl on our hands and knees. We reached the 
box in safety, but while we were returning 
with it. Price fell mortally wounded. 

"I then shouldered the box and started off for our lines, expecting momen 
tarily to meet the fate of Price. Luckily, however, I succeeded in safely de 
livering the box, and was greeted by my fellow soldiers with cheers. 

"Having safely delivered the box, it was now my duty to look after my 
wounded comrade, and T immediately returned and brought him within the 
lines. I turned him over to the care of the hospital corps, where twelve days 
later he died from the effects of his wounds." 


Private, Co. A, 28th Illinois Infantry. 
Born in Philadelphia, Pa., Nov. 11, 1842. 

Shiloh. In March, 1862, a force was posted at Shiloh, or Pittsburg Landing, on the Tennessee 
River, to watch the operations of the enemy gathering at Corinth. The force was gradually increased to a 
strength of about 32,000, consisting of the divisions of McClernand, Prentiss, Hurlbut, Lew Wallace, and 
Sherman, under command of General U. S. Grant. 

On the 16th of April the troops were engaged in action, which lasted two days. On the evening of 
the 16th, when fortune seemed against the Federals, they were re-enforced by General Buell with three 
divisions, aggregating 18,000 men. The next day they assumed the offensive and swept the enemy from the 

The Confederate Army, commanded by General Albert Sidney Johnston, was 45,000 strong, and suf 
fered a loss of 10,694. 

The Union killed and wounded amounted to 9,195 with 3,122 taken prisoners. 




Private, Co. C, 2ist Ohio Inf. 

(2) W. J. KNIGHT, 

Private, Co. E, 2ist Ohio Inf. 

(3) DAN L. A. DORSEY, 
Corp., Co. H, 33d Ohio Inf. 


Private, Co. H, 2ist Ohio Inf. 

(5) *J. A. WILSON, 

Private, Co. C, 2ist Ohio Inf. 


NOTE. * Hanged at Atlanta, Ga., as spies. 

Private, Co. G, 2ist Ohio Inf. 


Corp., Co. B, 33d Ohio Inf. 

Private. Co. C, 33d Ohio Inf. 

(9) W. A. FULLER. 

1 10) W. W. BROWN, 

Private, Co. F, 2ist Ohio Inf. 

Private, Co. E, 33d Ohio Inf. 

(12) E. H. MASON, 
Serg t., Co. K, 2ist Ohio Inf. 

(13} M. J. HAWKINS, 
Corp., Co. A, 33 Ohio Inf. 

(14) * MARIAN A. Ross, 
Serg t-Maj., 2d Ohio Inf. 

Private, Co. G. 2ist Ohio Inf. 


Private, Co. K, 33d Ohio Inf. 

( 17) * JOHN M. SCOTT, 
Serg t., Co. F, 2ist Ohio Inf. 


Serg t-Maj., 2ist Ohio Inf. 




ONE of the most interesting and thrilling incidents of the early campaigns of 
1862, as an exploit of reckless daring, if not of successful strategy, was this 
celebrated railroad raid, organized with the purpose of destroying the rebel line 
of communication with Chattanooga, and placing that important stronghold at 
the mercy of General Mitchell s forces. 


The raid was led by James J. Andrews of Kentucky, who had previously 
acted as a spy for General Buell. The expedition consisted of twenty men of 
the Second, Twenty-first, and Thirty-third Ohio regiments, who volunteered for 
the service, and two civilians. 

Wearing citizens clothes, and carrying only side-arms, they proceeded from 
General Mitchell s camp at Shelbyville, Tenn.. to Chattanooga, in detachments 
of three or four, representing themselves to be Kentuckians on their way to 
join the Confederate Army. From Chattanooga they made their way to Mari 
etta, Ga., which was to be the starting point for the raid. 

On the morning of the 12th of April they boarded a train loaded with rebel 
troops and ammunition, and rode to Big Shanty (now Kenesaw 
Station), having bought tickets to different stations along 
the line to disarm suspicion. At Big Shanty the 

train stopped, and the conductor, en- j 

gineer, and many of the pas 
sengers went out to 
breakfast, leaving 
the train un 



The little band immediately took possession, uncoupled a section of the 
train, consisting of three empty box-cars, the locomotive and tender, and started 
at full speed on their wild ride through the enemy s country to Chattanooga. 

The plan was, by cutting the telegraph wires and tearing up the track, to 
destroy all means of communication east and south, preventing the re-enforce 
ment of the garrison at Chattanooga, and leaving the way clear for General 
Mitchell, who, with a detachment from his division, was at this very moment 
moving on the town by rail from Hunts ville, Ala., one hundred miles to the 

The train was run at a furious rate of speed, stopping occasionally to enable 
the men to tear up the rails and cut the wires. At the stations where he was 
compelled to stop, Andrews replied to all inquiries that he was running an im 
pressed powder train through to General Beauregard. 

The only difficulties ahead were the extra trains flying south from General 
Mitchell s forces, whose approach had stampeded the enemy. The danger was 
all in the rear, where another engine in charge of Anthony Murphy, master- 
mechanic and superintendent of the road, assisted by the conductor and engi 
neer of the captured train, was gradually gaining on them in spite of the 
obstacles in its way. The pursuers had started on a hand car, which had run off 
the track at one of the breaks in the road, had been obliged to proceed on foot 
for some distance, and had finally pressed into service a locomotive and a com 
pany of soldiers. 

Delayed by the south-bound trains as well as by the necessary work of de 
struction, the Union men lost valuable time, while the Confederates seemed able 
to surmount all obstacles. The chase was as desperate as the flight, the issue 
almost equally vital to pursuer and pursued. 

At Kingston the Federals were only four minutes ahead, and, at their next 
halt, the whistle of the enemy s engine was heard while they were pulling up 
the rails. The rebels saw the obstruction in time to avoid a wreck, but had to 
leave their engine and start again on foot. The relief to the fugitives, however, 
was slight, for, before going far the rebels stopped and reversed a south -bound 
train, and continued the chase. 

From Calhoun there was a clear track to Chattanooga, but the pursuers were 
gaining rapidly. The fugitives dropped a car which was taken up and pushed 
ahead by the engine in the rear. The Federals broke out the end of their last 
box-car, and dropped cross-ties on the track, checking slightly the progress of 
the rebels, and gaining enough time to get in wood and water at two stations. 
Several times they stopped, and almost succeeded in lifting a rail, but each 
time the Confederates, coming within rifle range, compelled them to give up 
the attempt. As a final desperate effort they set fire to their third and last car, 
and as they passed over a long, covered bridge at Oostenaula, uncoupled it and 
left it in the center of the bridge. The Confederates were upon the bridge before 


the fire had gained much headway, and the pursuing engine, dashing through 
the flame and smoke, drove the car before it to the next side-track. Every 
effort had failed that ingenuity could devise and reckless courage execute, and. 
on the very threshold of success, it was plain that escape was impossible. Fuel 
was now very low. and, though the locomotive was urged to its greatest speed, 
swaying and trembling from its tremendous impulse, it was a question of very 
few minutes before it would have to be abandoned. 

As it began to slow down the signal was given for a general sauve-qw-peut, 
but the little band was at once overpowered. They were taken to Atlanta, where 
the leader and seven of his men were tried by court-martial, condemned, and 

The others were kept in prison until the following October, when, agreeing 
among themselves that death by a bullet would be preferable to the scaffold, 
they planned an escape, a venture quite as desperate as that upon which they 
had embarked in the spring, but, fortunately, more successful. By a concerted 
attack upon the guards they managed to escape, but only eight of them reached 
home, after a most terrible experience, thus described by one of the survivors: 

"In just forty-eight days and nights, for the nights should be counted, since 
under cover of darkness we made most progress, we reached the Federal lines, 
footsore and worn to skeletons. We were forced to wade streams, swim swift- 
running rivers, scale mountains, and at the same time be constantly on the 
alert against the enemy, who were always around us. The thought that capture 
meant certain death alone kept us on the march. No person can describe our 
sufferings God only knows what we were forced to endure. 

"To gain rest in sleep was impossible. To close our eyes in unconsciousness 
was only to dream of pursuit by bloodhounds, of the huge scaffold on the out 
skirts of Atlanta, where our friends had been hanged, and where, it was said, 
we should share the same fate ; or of a sudden attack in which a bullet would 
have been more merciful than man." 




Captain, Co. F, 3d Vermont Infantry. 
Born at Salisbury, N. H., Aug. 2, 1832. 

N THE 16th of April, 1862," Captain Pingree, 
who led the charge at Lee s Mills, Va., nar 
rates "General McClellan confronted the enemy, en 
trenched along the Warwick and south of York- 
town. No attempt to force the line had been 
made, although cannonading at long range and 
musketry firing at close quarters had been brisk. 

"About the middle of the afternoon two com 
panies of my regiment, supported by two others 
were selected 
to attack the 
enemy s line 
on the other 

side of the 

creek, and to capture and hold a crescent bat 
tery and the lines of rifle pits protecting it. 
My company, which headed the assault, was 
deployed quite closely. Unclasping their 
waist-belts, each held high his cartridge-box 
in the left hand and his rifle in the right. As 
soon as the batteries on the slope in the rear 
ceased firing, both companies started for the 
creek. The enemy at the same time opened 
fire from the rifle-pits across the stream. 

" The water was breast high in the nar 
row channel, but shallower on both sides 
of it, about two hundred feet wide, mostly 
artificial flowage for a line of defense, and 
was further obstructed with felled trees. 

" In spite of the deadly fire of the enemy, 
the two companies pushed on, and, without 
a halt on the other shore, dashed straight 
for the rifle-pits and battery, driving the 
enemy into the woods. Shouts of triumph 
went up and signals of success were 
waved back to our lines. The two sup 
porting companies followed us up and 
joined in holding the captured works. The 
line of the Warwick was broken. We 


anxiously waited for the arrival of the head of the division which was to 
follow us if we found the crossing possible, but no assistance came. 

"The enemy rallied from their panic, and with several regiments hastened 
to attack our little party of less than two hundred rifles. 

" We had lost heavily while fording the stream, and now the men were fall 
ing fast as the enemy rallied against us in overwhelming force. Messengers 
were sent back twice, explaining the situation and asking for re-enforcements 
or orders to fall back. 

"As we rushed for the rifle-pits, I received a wound below the left hip, 
which for a few moments prostrated me and benumbed my left leg so that I 
could not rise, but I soon recovered, and, finding no bones broken, continued to 
lead the men on. as our orders were to capture and hold the works till re- 
enforcements came. It was a critical moment when the Fifteenth North Caro 
lina came charging down upon us at a run. but the well-directed fire of the 
brave Vermonters checked and hurled them back, extending their confusion to 
the two Georgia regiments on their right. 

"It was at this stage of the fight that my right hand was disabled by a shot 
which tore away my right thumb. While these attacking regiments were reor 
ganizing for an assault on our position, the order came to fall back across the 
river, which we did, helping our wounded along. 

"The fight had lasted forty minutes. Out of the fifty-two officers and men 
of my company, twenty-seven were killed or wounded, and of the three hun 
dred and ninety-two men engaged, forty-five per cent were killed or wounded." 


DRUMMER LANGBEIN was the smallest member of the 
drum corps in his regiment, and his face and figure 
was so plump and girlish, that he was known to all his 
comrades as "Jennie," a nickname given to him by a 
soldier of the regiment w r ho said that the lad looked 
just like his sweetheart at home in the North. 

The battle of Camden, or South Mills, N. C., known 
to the Confederates as the battle of Sawyer s Lane, 
though not one of the most famous in the War of the 
Rebellion, was a hotly contested engagement neverthe 
less. It occurred during the expedition sent to destroy 
the .Culpeper Lock at the southern end of the Dismal 
Swamp Canal, in the rear of the city of Norfolk, Va. One 


of its notable features was a charge by the Hawkins " Zous," not so disastrous as 
the one at Antietam. but quite as daring. It was during this mad dash that Adju 
tant Thomas L. Bartholomew, who had promised "Jennie s" mother to keep 
special watch over her boy. and between whom and the boy the closest com 
radeship existed, was struck by a fragment of an exploding shell, which made a 
frightful wound in his neck. He did not fall at once, but in the delirium of 
pain staggered outside the ranks, and in a 
moment was between the hostile lines. In 
time of action, it is the duty of the musicians 
to act as an ambulance corps; to look after 
the wounded and to carry them on stretchers 
to the rear. Yet it is not part of the drum 
mer s work to unnecessarily expose himself; 
indeed, it is expected that he will shelter him 
self as much as possible, since, if the mem 
bers of the ambulance corps are killed, fight 
ing men must leave the ranks to take their 
places. Little "Jennie" Langbein, however, 
had no notion of looking out for his own 
safety. When the order was given to charge 
he went w j ith his regiment, with a sharp eye 
for disabled comrades, and especially for Ad 
jutant Bartholomew. 

Seeing his friend s terrible position, the 
boy rushed up to him through the rain of bullets, and screaming shot and 
shell, caught him as he was wandering deliriously and aimlessly about, and 
managed to pilot him to a comparatively quiet place to the rear towards the 
hospital field. 

The wounded man was pronounced by the regimental surgeon "nearly dead" 
and "not worth while to remove," but young Langbein would not abandon his 
friend. Securing the assistance of a stronger comrade, he managed to carry the 
unconscious man to a house near by. 

Later in the day the Confederates were re-enforced, and the Federals had to re 
treat in such haste, that there was no question of taking care of the wounded. 
The adjutant would have been abandoned had it not been for the continued 
devotion of his little friend, who managed to get him into the army wagon, and 
stayed by him till he was safe in the Federal hospital at Roanoke. 


Drummer, Co. B, 9th N. Y. Volunteers 

(Hawkins Zouaves). 
Born, Sept. 29, 1846, in Germany. 



A 1 


Private, Co. G, 2d New Hampshire Infantry. 
B,irn at Cholmsford, Mass., Sept. 29, 1839. 

BOUT four o clock on the morning of May 5, 
1862, Hooker s division, after a night march 
through a drenching rain, over muddy roads, with 
but two hours of rest, came upon the enemy be 
fore Fort Magruder, near Williamsburg, Va. A 
hotly contested battle ensued between Hooker s 
forces, about nine thousand men, and a vastly 
superior number. The Union skirmish line was 
advanced through a mass of fallen timber on the 
right of Williamsburg road, close to Fort Magruder, 
and kept up a severe fire at short range. Long- 
street, who commanded the Confederates rear, had 
passed beyond Williamsburg, but turned back 
with re-enforcements to crush, if possible, Heintzelman s corps. Charge after 
charge was made from the fort, but could not release the grip with which 
Hooker s men held the enemy s left. The battle raged until four o clock in the 
afternoon in a heavy rain. Hooker s ammunition was nearly exhausted, and he 
had vainly appealed for re-enforcements. 

Sumner, coming upon the field, relieved Heintzelman, who hastened to the 
field where Hooker was engaged. He gathered drummers, fifers, buglers, and 
other musicians to the number of a hundred or more pieces, and directed them 
to play. "Play anything, Yankee Doodle, Hail Columbia, anything." he 
ordered. As the music swelled above the din of the fight with increased volume 
and resonance, the failing courage of the wearied men was revived, and the cry 
went up: "Hold on, boys, re-enforcements are coming!" Stubbornly and hope 
fully they continued the contest, until Kearney s arrival afforded Hooker s tired, 
but not dispirited men the relief which they sorely needed. 

During one of the charges of the enemy it had been found impossible to 
withdraw one of our batteries, and four guns fell into the enemy s hands as our 
lines were being pressed back. Then occurred the incident which displayed the 
courage of young Dillon, and won for him the Medal of Honor awarded by Con- 

Williamsbiirg , Va. After the evacuation of Yorktown by General Magruder, May 4, 1862, the 
rebels were pursued by our forces under Hooker. At Williamsburg, on the 5th, the enemy made a stand, 
and the attack was made by Hooker, who was checked by the heavy firing from Fort Magruder. He 
was re-enforced by General Kearney, and the enemy was compelled to retire at night. 

The Union loss was 2,200; the Confederate, 1,000. 


gress for conspicuous bravery. Seeing the pieces in the hands of the enemy, he 
sprang to his feet and rushed forward, begging his comrades to follow and re 
take the guns. His lieutenant, seeing him thus exposed to the enemy s fire, and 
fearing it might be concentrated upon the position which they occupied, shouted 
to him: "Get down, Dillon, you are drawing the enemy s fire." 

Dillon exclaimed: "What in hell are we here for? Come on, boys, come on! 
We mustn t let them take that battery." And, with arms raised high in air 
pleading for men to follow him, he rallied a gallant group, all boys like himself, 


rushed into the thickest of the fight, repulsed and drove back the enemy, and 
rescued Battery H, First United States Artillery. 

Dillon received a bad check shot before success. He was struck in the leg 
by a ball, which felled him ; but a moment before the recapture he was venting 
his wrath in forcible language at the loss of his musket, which was wrenched 
from his grasp by an exploding shell and shattered into fragments. Staunching 
the flow of blood, and picking up the musket of a fallen comrade, he pluckily 
resumed his place and continued the fight until he had the satisfaction of wit 
nessing the final repulse of the enemy. 


ON THE 18th of June, just prior to the battle of Oak Grove, General Hooker 
called for volunteers to take a redoubt of the enemy on the right of the Wil- 
liamsburg road. Young Dillon was among the first to report by stepping to the 
front. His lieutenant ordered him to fall back, remarking: We cannot spare 
you; there is going to be desperate work to-day, and we need you with us." 
Dillon, who was aching to get another whack at the enemy, replied: "So does 
General Hooker need desperate work done, and has called for volunteers, and 
I am going." He seized his musket, said good-bye to his lieutenant, and joined 
what seemed like a forlorn hope. Away they started and were soon charging 
across an open field in the face of a deadly fire from artillery and mus 
ketry, leaving many comrades dead and wounded, as they advanced upon the 
run. The redoubt was reached, the parapet gained, and Dillon was among 
the first in the short, sharp, and deadly conflict, in w T hich he and his comrades 
were victorious. They took many prisoners and held the fort until Hooker ad 
vanced his lines. 

ANOTHER brave deed mentioned in his Medal of Honor award was performed 
by Private Dillon on hands and knees. At the battle of the 25th of June, or 
the first of the seven days desperate fighting in front of Richmond, during a 
lull in front of the Second New Hampshire Volunteers, Dillon performed an 
act that displayed his coolness as well as his disregard of the peril to which 
he voluntarily exposed himself. He crawled on his hands and knees through 
the grass and among the bushes, in advance of the line, into the enemy s camp, 
overheard the details of Longstreet s plans, returned safely, and communicated 
the information to General Hooker, thereby enabling the general to rearrange 
his forces in such a manner as to repulse the enemy. 

AT THE battle of Groveton. on the 29th of August, 1862, in which the Fed 
eral brigade of John Gibbon and part of Abner Doubleday s were engaged, 
Dillon again distinguished himself, but was badly wounded. It was while the 
Second New Hampshire were doggedly retreating step by step from the ground 
gained before, and attempting to form a new line, that the enemy in turn made 
a charge upon them. Sergeant Marshall, who was with Dillon, said: "Come, 
Dillon, we have got to go, they are charging us." Dillon answered: "Not be 
fore that color-bearer is downed." He discharged his gun, and lowered both 
colors and bearer of the Forty-ninth Georgia, but at the same moment he him 
self dropped, shot through the lungs, the bullet passing through his body and 
breaking three ribs. In spite of his desperate wound, after partly recovering and 
receiving his discharge, he returned to the army and served throughout the war. 




Sergeant, Co. B, 70th New York Infantry. 

Born in New York City, Nov. 14, 1839. 
Highest rank attained: Lieutenant-Colonel. 

WHEN the enemy were overtaken at 
Williamsburg the Third Excelsior, 
of the Seventieth New York Volunteers, 
was in advance. It was a dark, rainy morn 
ing. A heavy vapor covered the field, and 
the smoke of the battle obscured the scene. 
As the supporting regiment approached, 
the enemy, who were concealed in the 
thick woods, sent up the cry : " Show your 
colors!" The color-bearer waved the flag, 
and, as its folds spread out and showed 
the stars and stripes, the rebels advanced 
from the woods and opened fire. The fire 

was returned so effectively that they were driven back. Another advance, with 
re-enforcements, was also repulsed by the valiant Excelsiors. 

After several hours of conflict the ammunition became exhausted, and the 
New Yorkers were ordered to fall back by companies. Sergeant Coyne s com 
pany, which during the latter part of the 
battle was under his command, the cap 
tain and lieutenant having been disabled, 
became separated, and a number of them, 
missing their way, found themselves with 
their leader confronted by a party of the 
enemy surrounding their color-bearer. 

" Let s capture their colors, boys ! " shouted 
Coyne, and, with a ringing cheer, the little 
band made a dash for the enemy. Coyne 
singled out the color-bearer and rushed 
upon him. The rebel was too strong to 
be conquered by such an assault, and de 
fended his flag bravely until a bullet, shat 
tering his right hand, forced him to loosen 
his hold and enabled Coyne to drag the 
trophy from him. Tearing the flag from 
the staff and tying it around his body, he 
turned to offer battle to any one who should 
attempt to retake it ; but the survivors of 


the enemy were hurriedly leaving the field before a rescuing party sent by General 
Heintzelman. Of the brave band who had supported their leader but few re 
mained standing, and Sergeant Cook, Corporal Beekman, and Privates Howard 
and Lynch were killed outright. 

Sergeant Coyne received the commission of second lieutenant to date from 
the battle. He was mentioned for bravery in general orders by General Heint 
zelman, and was advanced to the rank of lieutenant-colonel for several other 
acts of gallantry during the war. 



T WILLIAMSBURG I performed one of the deeds for which Congress awarded 
me a Medal of Honor. I was out on the skirmish line with our company 
at the time, and after holding our position for some time, the firing of the enemy 

was so severe that we were compelled to retreat, 
This we did slowly, paying back shot for shot. 

"We had retreated to a place of comparative 
safety, when I noticed that my comrade, R. B. 
Wilson, was missing, having been wounded or 
killed in the retreat. My captain called for some 
one to volunteer to assist him in bringing Wilson 
off the field. I volunteered, and we started for 
the late scene of action. 

"Not knowing exactly where he had fallen, 
we spent some time in searching for him. At 
last we found him and started with him for our 
lines. While we had been looking for him the 
enemy had completely surrounded us and cut off 
our escape. I tried to attract their attention so 
that the captain could manage to escape, and in 
so doing was shot in the left groin, received a 
pretty severe scratch across both legs, and a buckshot wound in the belt. 

"I fell, and was immediately taken prisoner, but the next day, when they 
found I was unable to walk I was let out on parole. I managed to return to 
my company, then at Harrison s Landing." 


Sergeant, Co. G, 72d New York Infantry. 
Born at Westfield, N. Y., July 1, 1841. 

"ON AUGUST 27, 1862, at the battle of Bristow Station, I was suffering greatly 
from a severe carbuncle on my neck. On this account I was ordered to the 
rear before the battle commenced. From my dreary position I could hear the 


distant rattle of musketry, and longed to be with my comrades. Soon I began 
to formulate schemes whereby I could rejoin my regiment. I gave this up and 
decided simply to forget my orders and join my company. Here I fought until 
the battle was over. w r hen I fainted and had to be carried from the field." 

SERGEANT JOHN H. HAIGHT, who relates the above two stories, also partici 
pated in the second battle of Bull Run. or Manassas, on the 29th of August, 
1863. The company, to which he belonged, was flanked and compelled to 
fall back upon the main body of the brigade. When the retreat had been com 
pleted the captain called for volunteers to rescue any wounded that w T ould 
otherwise fall into the hands of the Confederates. Sergeant Haight and two 
others immediately volunteered for the service. They advanced towards the 
enemy s lines under a heavy fire, and succeeded in bringing out Private Plumb 
and several others whose names are not known. 



AY 5, 1862, Captain George W. Mindil, of Company C, Sixty-first Penn 
sylvania Infantry, distinguished himself for conspicuous gallantry while aide 
on General Kearney s staff. His heroism was also rewarded with a colonelcy, he 
being at the time only nineteen years old. 

At Williamsburg Captain Mindil s position as aide gave him considerable free 
dom of action, and realizing that a bold stroke was necessary, he organized and 
led a desperate charge, with a battalion of the Fortieth New York. 

In the face of a terrific fire from the enemy s infantry and artillery, which 
was doing great destruction in the Federal ranks, this young officer led his men 
into the very midst of the rebel force, pierced their center, silenced some of 
their guns, and, getting in their rear, forced them to abandon their position. 




Sergeant, Co. H, 1st Maryland Infantry. 
Highest rank attained: Captain. 

WILLIAM TAYLOR S military career is distinguished by two most daring deeds 
The first of these was the burning of a bridge at Front Royal, Va., May 23, 
1862, where a detachment of Stonewall Jackson s force fell upon and routed a 

body of General Banks , with a loss of 904 
men. Taylor, in company with another man, 
volunteered to rush forward, in the face of a 
deadly fire from the enemy, and destroy this 
bridge to prevent the rebels from crossing. 
The rush was made in safety, although shot 
flew all around them, until they neared the 
place where they were to fire the bridge. Here 
Taylor s companion was killed, and he himself 
severely wounded in the right hand. Neverthe 
less he succeeded in firing the bridge and so 
prevented an attack by the Confederates. 

His second notable adventure took place at 
the Weldon Railroad, Va., August 19, 1864, after 
he had been promoted a lieutenant. About this 
Captain Taylor says : 
"On the evening of August 19, during a heavy rain, the rebels charged 
with a yell. Our brigade was on the extreme left, with the brigade of regulars 
on our right, who broke and ran. A little later the rebels retreated, and we 
held the ground until the regulars were brought back. 

"That night a regiment of our brigade was sent out on picket line, which 
they left and came into camp, through some misunderstanding. It was reported 
to General Warren, who sent an order to Acting Brigadier-General Dushain to 
send an officer and a few men to find connections of the rebel picket line. I 
volunteered and took two men with me. 

"It was a dark, rainy night. On the way we ran foul of two men whom we mis 
took for rebels, and made prisoners. They turned out to be officers of our division. 
"We found the picket line and came back, and finding Colonel Wilson about 
to start with the regiment, I took the right and made connections with the 
picket line. I was then detailed, with Captain McClellan of General Ayres staff, 
with sixteen men and a sergeant, to reconnoiter the enemy s position. Leaving 
the men inside our lines, Captain McClellan, the sergeant and I got through 
the enemy s lines, and close to a house, where Heath, the rebel general, had his 
headquarters. The captain and I started to return to our men, leaving the ser 
geant behind, but were captured on the way, the sergeant being taken shortly after. 




"We were sent to Petersburg the next day, and from there to Richmond, and 
remained in Libby Prison about two months, until Fort Harrison, some four 
miles below, was taken. Later on I managed to escape in company with two 
other officers. The hardships that we had to undergo to reach our freedom 
would be interesting enough, but they do not belong to the incidents for which 
I received my Medal of Honor." 


PRIVATE DELANO J. MOREY, Co. B, 82d Ohio Infantry, a native of Licking Co., 
Ohio, gives the following interesting account of his capture of two rebel 
sharpshooters : 

"When our regiment left Moorefield, Va., where we had been encamped 
all winter, and was ordered to re-enforce General Milroy. a detail of fifty 
men, of which I was a member, was sent out to look for bushwhackers, who 
infested the woods. After traveling over fifty miles of the roughest roads, we re 
joined our regiment at McDowell on the 8th of May, 1862, hungry as wolves, but 
supplied with a few choice specimens of poultry, which we had incidentally taken 
prisoners of war. These some of us were eating with all the ardor of hungry 
men. when the report of the pickets guns aroused us, and as this was to be our 
first battle our chickens were left behind in our anxiety to have a brush with 
the enemy. But oh! had we known the strength and numbers of the enemy, we 
should have been reluctant to attack them; but, eager for a fight, we advanced 
on Bull Pasture Mountain. We engaged them at this point, and in the midst 
of the roar of battle came the erroneous order to fix bayonets and charge 
them. About 150 of us, on the extreme right of the line, from which the order 
emanated, fixed our bayonets and charged the enemy down in the valley. Down 
the mountain side we went, to within about a hundred yards from them, when 
they opened fire on us which was too high, and not a man was touched. We 
in turn emptied a volley into them, when we found to our surprise that our 
150 men were charging about 4,000 of the enemy. No sooner were we aware 
of this fact than a hasty retreat was made up the mountain side, but I, noting 
two of the enemy some little distance from me, left the retreating men and 
made for the two sharpshooters with the intention of capturing them. When 
they saw me coming on the full run they hastened to load their guns, but I 
was a little too quick for them. I leveled my empty gun at them and ordered 
them to surrender, which they promptly did, and I led the captives to my cap 
tain. I was sixteen years old, and each of my prisoners was old enough to be 
my father." 

Painted by Paul H i/liehni 




WM. H. 


Co. G, 1st 

Ken tucky 

Vol. Inf. 

Born in 


Co., Ky., 

March 3, 1848. 

" r LEFT home without money or a warning to 
1 my parents," writes William Horsfall "and in 
company with three other boys, stealthily boarded 
the steamer Annie Laurie, moored at the Cin 
cinnati wharf at Newport and billed for the 
Kanawha River that evening, about the 20th of 
December, 1861. When the bell rang for the de 
parture of the boat, my boy companions, having 
a change of heart, ran ashore before the plank 
was hauled aboard, and wanted me to do the 
same. I kept in hiding until the boat was 
well under way and then made bold 
enough to venture on deck. I was accosted 
by the captain of the boat as to my destination, etc., and telling him the old 
orphan-boy story, I was treated very kindly, given something to eat, and allowed 
very liberal privileges. 

" I arrived at Cincinnati without further incident, and enlisted as a drummer- 

"In the fighting before Corinth, Miss., May 21, 1862 Nelson s Brigade engaged 
-my position was to the right of the First Kentucky, as an independent sharp 
shooter. The regiment had just made a desperate charge across the ravine. Cap 
tain Williamson was wounded in the charge, and, in subsequent reversing of 
positions, was left between the lines. Lieutenant Hocke, approaching me, said : 
Horsfall, Captain Williamson is in a serious predicament; rescue him if possible. 
So I placed my gun against a tree, and, in a stooping run, gained his side and 
dragged him to the stretcher bearers, who took him to the rear." 

Drummer Horsfall was on all the subsequent marches of his regiment. During 
the famous charge at Stone River he presently found himself hemmed in by rebel 
horsemen and hostile infantry. Even the rebels took pity on his youth and one of 
them shouted: "Don t shoot the damned little Yank! I want him for a cage." 
The plucky little drummer made a run for his life and safely got back to his 

During the Siege of Corinth a Union force 30,000 strong, under General Pope, occupied Hamburg 
Landing five miles above Pittsburg, where General Halleck was in full command. The movement against 
Corinth was made on the 30th of April. There was little or no active engagement. Beauregard evacuated 
the town on the 26th of May and the Union Army took possession on the 30th. 





Brigadier-General, U. S. V. 
Highest rank attained :Bvt. Maj-Gen., U.S.V. 
Born at Greenfield, Mass., Oct. 19, 1824. 

garding the action of his brigade between 
May 26 and 30, 1862, at Harper s Ferry, Va.: 

" I assumed command of the forces at Harper s 
Ferry, May 26, 1862, occupying Bolivar Heights 
with my troops, and Maryland Heights with the 
naval battery. On the same evening I sent two 
companies of the First Maryland regiment, under 
Major Steiner, to make reconnoissance of London 
Heights, where, it was reported, the enemy were 
in position. 

" They were fired upon while ascending, between 
nine and ten o clock in the morning, by dismounted 
rebel cavalry concealed in the bushes on both 
sides of the road. The fire was returned, but with what effect is not known. 

"On Wednesday I shelled the Heights, compelling the enemy to retire, as 
was proved by subsequent reconnoissance. Our cavalry drove the enemy out of 
Charleston, but they were almost immediately re-enforced, and, opening fire from 
a battery of nine guns, compelled our force to retire. A body of the enemy s 
cavalry was seen occasionally emerging from a point of the woods about two 
miles distant. Our guns shelled the woods in front, but the enemy made no re 
sponse, and seemed from their movements, desirous of drawing us from our po 

" On the morning of the 29th the Fiftieth New York Cavalry was sent out to 
reconnoiter, and was fired upon by the enemy s infantry and artillery. A body 
was seen stationed in the woods in a position to cover the battery. Having ac 
complished their object, our cavalry returned. 

"About midnight General Cooper s Brigade was set in motion, and, by daylight, 
had succeeded in crossing the river and occupying the banks on the Maryland 
side. General Clough s Brigade at the same time fell back to a new position on 
Camp Hill, and when morning dawned, our batteries, supported by a heavy force of 
infantry, were in a position to command all the approaches on our front and flanks. 
"On Friday morning Major Gardner, with the Fifty-fifth New York Cavalry, 
was sent to the front to feel the enemy s position and watch his movements. 
He was later in the day re-enforced by a piece of artillery and two hundred 
sharpshooters. The enemy opened fire on him with scattering volleys of mus 
ketry along his whole front. The first discharge of grape from one piece caused 
the enemy s skirmishers to fall back in disorder. 




" About dark Friday evening, in a heavy storm, General Clough opened upon the 
enemy, who was advancing upon Camp Hill with three batteries. The scene at 
this time was very impressive. The night was intensely dark, the hills around 
were alive with the signal lights of the enemy; the rain descended in torrents, 
vivid flashes of lightning illumined at intervals the magnificent scenery, while 
the crash of thunder, echoing among the mountains, drowned into comparative 
insignificance the roar of artillery. After an action of an hour s duration the 
enemy retired. He made another unsuccessful attack at midnight with regiments 
of Mississippi and Louisiana Infantry, and, after a short engagement disappeared. 
Signal lights continued to be seen in every direction. On Saturday morning I 
sent out a reconnoissance and found that the whole rebel force, estimated at 
20,000 or 25,000 strong, had retired, and that we had successfully held our po 
sition and repulsed his several attacks with less than 7,000 effective men." 


THE fiercest fighting at the battle of Fair 
Oaks occurred on June 1 a Sunday. 
It was a fight which taxed the bravery 
of every Union officer and soldier. Many 
a deed of bravery and daring can be re 
corded from that memorable struggle, but 
none more noteworthy, than that which 
will ever connect the name of General 
0. 0. Howard with the history of that 
battle. His conduct distinguished it 
self above that of all others and will 
always furnish an illustrious example of 
American bravery. 

The battle began at seven o clock in 
the morning. The rebels with undaunted 

courage withstood the deadly charge of the Federal troops. General Howard, who 
commanded a brigade, led four of his regiments on the right wing of the Union 
Army, one regiment in the first line, the remaining three in the second line. As 
sisted by eighteen pieces of Meagher s Artillery, he advanced and was met by the 
superior numbers of the enemy. The clash was fearful. For an hour and a half a 
tremendous struggle for supremacy ensued. The general was omnipresent. He 
was in the thickest of the battle. Wherever the danger was greatest, there he 
was, inspiring and animating his men. 


Brigadier-General, U. S. A. Highest rank attained: Major- 
General, U. S. A. Born at Leeds, Me., Nov. 8, 1830. 


Twice his horse was shot from under him. Finally a bullet struck and shattered 
his right arm. Waving the fractured limb high above him, he aroused his soldiers 
to still greater ardor and enthusiasm. Such heroic fighting the enemy could not 
withstand. They fled. General Howard was carried to the rear by his admiring 
soldiers. The brave leader s arm was amputated; but he again went to the front, 
as soon as he had recovered from the operation and continued on his career of un 
dying fame. 


" T WAS engaged with the pioneers of the bri- 
1 gade on the 31st of May, 1862, in con 
structing a bridge across the Chickahominy 
River. An attack of the Confederates on our 
extreme left, on the Virginia side of the 
Chickahominy, caused the Second Corps to be 
thrown across the river immediately after 
twelve o clock noon, and the battle of Fair 
Oaks began soon after. 

"As my services were not necessary at 
the bridge, I took half of my command - of 
forty-five men. and proceeded to the head of 
the brigade, reaching it just as it was about 
to engage the enemy. I was directed by 
General Dana to proceed across an open field 
in front of an advancing rebel regiment, which 
I did, arriving at the point designated with 
only four out of a party of twenty-two men. 
eighteen having been killed or wounded within 
a couple of minutes. 

"The adjutant of the regiment to which I belonged, the Seventh Michigan 
Infantry, was, about this time, dangerously wounded and incapacitated for 


1st Lieutenant, Co. I, 7th Michigan Infantry. 

Highest rank attained: Major-General, U. S. A. 

Born at Galesburg, Mich., Oct. 16, 1835. 

Fair Oaks. On the 30th of May, 1862, the right wing of the Union Army rested near New Bridge, on 
the west bank of the Chickahominy, the center at Seven Pines, and the left on the White Oak Swamp. Gen 
eral Simmer s Corps remained on the east side of the river. The force was under command of General 

The efforts of General Johnston, the Confederate commander, were directed chiefly against the left 
wing, where Heintzelman s and Keyes Divisions were placed. The Union position was supported at this 
point by General Kearney, Berry s Brigade, and an Irish Battalion, and was held in spite of repeated assaults 
in force. The arrival of General Simmer s Corps decided the day in favor of the Federals. 

Fighting was resumed on the following day on the left bank of the river, and ceased about midday 
with the retreat of the enemy. 

The Union loss was 5,739; the Confederate, 7,997. 

It was in this battle that General Johnston, the Confederate commander, was disabled, and relieved 
by General Lee. 


further service, whereupon I was directed by Major Richardson, who com 
manded the regiment that afternoon, to assume the duties of regimental ad 
jutant, which I did. 

Just at the close of the battle, about half an hour later, my horse was 
shot from under me and I was wounded, a severe flesh wound, but as no bones 
were hit, my injuries were not considered dangerous. I was perfectly able to 
remain in the field, and did so during the fight of the next day. In order to 
escape being sent north with the wounded, I went to the rear of the command 
and remained there for two or three days until the wounded had all been sent 


away, and I then returned to my regiment. I was unable to ride a horse, and 
was confined to my couch and there performed the duties of adjutant, so far 
as the office part of the work was concerned. 

"At the change of base I had the choice of being left in the hands of the 
enemy or mounting my horse and going with our troops, and although riding 
horseback in my then wounded condition was very painful, T adopted the latter 
alternative, and was with the regiment in all of the seven days battles sub 

General Shafter, who gives this account of his services at Fair Oaks, 
voluntarily went with half of his little band into the battle, when his pioneer 


work gave him a satisfactory reason for remaining at the grapevine bridge, in 
stead of engaging in the gallant charge of his regiment, and remained in 
action for twenty-four hours after receiving a bullet wound. His intelligent 
energy and activity during the battle, and his example of soldierly heroism, had 
an effect on the men. to which a great share of their success may be credited. 



Sergeant, Co. G, 104th I enii. Infantry. 

Born at Upper Black Eddy. Buck Co., Pa., 

Aug. 1, 1837. 

THE One hundred and fourth Pennsylvania 
Infantry had been under fire for an hour 
and a half at the battle of Fair Oaks, and a 
large number of the men had fallen. The fight 
ing line had been maintained unusually well, 
and the men fought more like veterans of a 
hundred battles than recruits under fire for 
almost the first time. The enemy was pressing 
them in front and flank, and his fire had be 
come so warm as to endanger the battery they 
were supporting. He approached within a short 
distance of the right. At this crisis, a charge 
was ordered in the hope of checking his advance. 
The One hundred and fourth had no expectation 
of crossing bayonets with the rebels, but hoped 
to gain time. The men were ordered to cease firing and fix bayonets, which 
was done with great promptness, considering their excited condition. The com 
mand was given: " Charge bayonets, forward, double-quick, march !" and the men 
sprang toward the enemy with a tremendous yell. 

They advanced about a hundred yards over a piece of ground covered with 
dwarf bushes. In the way was an old worn fence that had not been observed be 
fore, which cut the old line of battle at an angle of about thirty degrees. The men 
sprang over this obstacle into the clearing where the enemy stood, and immedi 
ately began to reform and open fire. Both flags were carried over the fence by 
the bearers. This movement had the desired effect. It was foolhardy under the 
circumstances, but it staggered the enemy, and the heavy fire checked him at 
once. It soon became apparent that the regiment must relinquish the ground 
unless re-enforced, and Lieutenant Ashenfelder was dispatched across to the 
Williamsburg road to request General Casey to send support. The general sent 
word to hold out a few minutes longer, when re-enforcements would be sent. 

It must be understood that, at this time, the One hundred and fourth Penn 
sylvania was engaged single-handed, in front of the line of the army, with a 


greatly superior force. Three hours had now elapsed since the regiment had 
gone into action, and more than one-third of the men had fallen. The promised 
re-enforcements did not arrive, and they could hold out no longer. There was 
no order given to retire, but they were literally pushed back by the superior 
force of the enemy pressing against them. Individual soldiers on either side 
came almost near enough to strike each other with the musket. The regiment 
retired slowly and sullenly, not an officer or man running. 

In the excitement and confusion of retiring, one flag was left on the other 
side of the fence, the staff sticking in the ground, and the enemy made a bold 


effort to capture it. Color-Sergeant Purcell had already secured his own standard, 
and, with it in his hands, he jumped over the fence and seized the other. The 
enemy saw the movement, and five of their men rushed forward at the same 
time, still keeping up their fire. Purcell reached it first, seized the staff, and 
sprang for the fence with both flags in his hands. As he mounted the fence he 
was struck by a bullet in the left thigh and fell, carrying the colors with him. 
Getting to his feet again he ran about 500 yards, handed one flag to Sergeant 
Myers, and started for the rear with the other, but, becoming faint from the 
loss of blood, he gave it to Corporal Mitchner and fell exhausted on the field, 
having received two slight wounds in the arm and neck. He was rescued by 
General Casey s bugler, Israel Stidinger, who took him on his horse to Savage 

The flags were brought off the field in safety, and delivered to the regiment 
after the battle. 



Private, Co. B, 3d Pa. Cavalry. 

ABOUT June 5, 1862, a few days after the battle 
of Fair Oaks, John C. Hunterson, then a 
private in Co. B, Third Pennsylvania Cavalry, on 
duty as one of the escort of two to an engineer 
officer, accompanied him on an reconnoissance 
between the lines of the two armies for the 
purpose of ascertaining the best available posi 
tion for earthworks. This party was discovered 
and fired upon by the enemy. 

The horse of the engineer officer was killed, 
and the second person in escort hurriedly returned 
to our lines. This placed the officer in a most 
exasperating position. Here he had, at great per 
sonal peril, approached the enemy s lines, surveyed the topography of the battle 
field, made valuable sketches and drawings, and now, at the very last moment, 
found himself deprived of the means to carry the information obtained to his 

superior officers! Hunterson keenly appreciated the situa 
tion. He realized that the engineers life was of the 
greatest value to his army and his noble impulse 
quickly made him reach a conclusion. He 
voluntarily gave up his mount to the 
officer, enabling .him to escape with the 
important plans and drawings which 
were upon his person. 

Hunterson effected his 
escape, and at once reported 
to General Dickinson, then 
the assistant adjutant-gen 
eral of Hookers Division, 
who investigated and veri 

fied the incident. The act 
is worthy of special note as 
an exhibition of exceptional 
daring and devotion to duty. 
In giving up his horse in a 
desperate emergency, Hun 
terson reduced his own 
chance of escape to a min 
imum, entirely losing sight of his own welfare in his zeal for the safety of his 
superior officer and the interests of his country. 





Captain, Co. F, 97th Penn. Inf. 

Highest rank attained: Bvt. 

Lieutenant-Colonel, U. S. V. 

Born at West Chester, Chester 

Co., Penn., July 30, 1822. 

N JUNE 15, 1862, the enemy, having secured the 
range of our camps from Fort Lamar, opened on 
them with shell, making it quite lively for us. General 
Benham, then in command of the Union troops, resolved 
to make an assault on the fort on the morning of the 
16th, at daybreak. The attack was made by General 
Stevens Division, which was repulsed with a loss of 
about 600 men* Our brigade commander, Colonel Robert 
Williams of the First Massachusetts Cavalry, was ordered 
to advance two of his regiments, the Ninety-seventh 
Pennsylvania and the Third New Hampshire, to sup 
port the assault. 

"It was low tide and we forced our way through 
a thicket, or hedge, finding ourselves in a swamp, and 
under fire from the fort. But we drove the enemy s 

advance back to the fort, and located ourselves along the embankment about 
200 yards from the enemy s works. We were able, at that distance, to effec 
tually keep them from using their guns on two sides of the works. 

"About 10 o clock A. M., re-enforcements for the enemy commenced to ar 
rive by way of the Charleston and Savannah Railroad. Their artillery went in 
to position on the ridge and rendered our position untenable by enfilading our 
line. The order was given to retire, and we commenced falling back towards 
the swamp we had crossed at daylight. As soon as we left the embankment 
the field artillery and fort opened on us with canister at about 250 yards 
range. When we reached the swamp the tide was well up and the place was 
a slimy, oozy mass of mud, which the "Johnnies" were stirring up with 
canister and round shot for all they were worth, and making it unfit to swim 
in or to drink. After a severe struggle I landed on the far side from the 
enemy, as a matter of choice and necessity, assisting a number of comrades, 

In June, 1862, General Benham attempted to reach Charleston by the Stono River. The Union force 
crossed over to James Island on the 9th. Assaults were made upon a fort which the Confederates had 
erected at Secessionville during the week following. The attack on June 16 was a dismal failure, the 
Federals being compelled to fall back losing 500 men killed and wounded. 


whose heads were covered with mud, when their feet reached the bottom. I 
suppose they were dodging the canister. We were very good at that. 

"I landed, tired, disgusted, and dreadfully covered with mud, and was trying 
to find out where I was located in the mass of filth, when I beared a faint call 
that sounded thick and muddy. Looking back over the ground and water, I 
saw a head pop up above the sticky mass about one-third of the way back, 
and I felt satisfied that some poor fellow was having trouble and was in need 
of prompt assistance. The prospect was not inviting, with the shot fiying 


about, but there was no time to think, so I drew off my accoutrements, plunged 
in and got him to the shore, both of us thoroughly exhausted, and found him 
to be one of my own men." 

Colonel Lewis, who writes this account of his adventure at Fort Lamar, 
was present at the Mine Explosion at Petersburg, Va. When the attack was 
made upon the rebels, after the explosion, he was directly behind the major of 
the Forty-eighth New York, whose head was blown off, the bloody fragments 
striking him in the face. Soon after, his bravery and kindheartedness were 
again called forth by the misfortune of one of the men of his company who 
was wounded on the retreat. In the face of an awful storm of bullets, Colonel 
Lewis returned to the wounded man and carried him off the field to a place 
of safety. 



WHEN the Seventh Connecticut Infantry was storming Fort Lamar, James 
Island, S. C., at daybreak June 16, 1862, Sergeant Jackson was in com 
mand of Company F. He was struck abov r e the elbow with a canister shot 

from an eight-inch 
columbiad, and his left 
arm was shattered. 
With his right hand 
Jackson seized his splin 
tered arm, pressed it 
tightly to prevent, as 
much as possible, the 
flow of blood, and 
dashed forward with 
his men. The regiment 
retired, rallied again, 
and went forward on 
the second charge, only 
to be again repulsed. 
Once more the regi 
ment rallied, and in 
this charge, Sergeant 
Jackson fell, fainting 
from the loss of blood. 
He lay on the field 
from five o clock in the 
morning until half-past 
ten at night, only a 
hundred feet from the 
fort, neither Federals 
nor Confederates dar 
ing to succor their 
wounded, so fierce was 
the firing. During more than seventeen hours he remained unable to move, all 
the while exposed to the fire from the Union forces, but too near the fort to be 
in range of the enemy s missiles. 

Referring to this part of his experience, he writes : 

" Of the fourteen comrades who came under the Confederate surgeon s 
knife as prisoners, only myself and one other lived to reach home. I was put 
under the influence of chloroform, and, when I became conscious again, discov- 


1st Serg t., Co. F., 

7th Conn. Inf. 

Highest rank attained: Major, U. S. V. 
Born at New Haven, Conn. 


ered two surgeon s knives and another instrument lying across my breast. 
Among those in the room were General Gist, commanding the Confederates, 
and the colonel in charge of the fort. On regaining consciousness some one 
asked me: 

" How many troops have your forces got? 

" Go over and count them, I replied. 

" We will go over and we shall get them all. said he. 

"The surgeon was Doctor Bellinger, the son of one of the most famous sur 
geons in the South at that time. He said to me: 

" The Southern Confederacy is not abundantly supplied with chloroform, 
and will not throw any away on you. 

"Before beginning to amputate my arm, they divided some of my clothing 
among themselves. The first thing taken was a pair of new boots which had 
been sent from home by my father. My uniform was also disposed of, and they 
gave me a shabby suit of clothes in case I should ever need any more. Then 
the surgeon proceeded to cut off my arm, and, true to his word, he did not 
waste any of the Southern Confederacy s chloroform on me. 

"I was made acquainted with six of the Southern prisons, and was grad 
uated from Libby October 14, 1862." 


THE following story, describing an important 
movement in the action at Gaines Mills, Va., 
June 27, 1862, is written by a captain of the 
Eighty-third Pennsylvania Infantry, who testifies 
warmly to the gallant conduct and able leader 
ship of General Daniel Butterfield and Major 
Ernst Von Vegesack, and the inspiriting influence 
upon the men of their fine example. 

"The Twelfth and Forty-fourth New York 
Volunteers, who were deployed in the rear and 
on the heights in the woods above us, opening 
fire upon the enemy, the fire was returned, and the right wing of the Eighty- 
third, being more on a level and in view of the enemy, commenced also a 
heavy fire. The enemy still approached in column of brigade, covered by a 
regiment in line of battle, but discovering, when too late, the position our 
regiment held, precipitately fled back with a heavy loss in killed and wounded. 


Brigadier-General, V. 8. Volunteers. 

Highest rank attained : Maj-Gen., U. S. V. 

Born in Oneida Co., N. Y., Oct. 31, 1831. 


" At this moment Brigadier-General Butterfield, amidst a gallant fire from his 
line of support in the rear, and that of the enemy in front, came coolly down 
the knoll, and, sword in hand, seized the colors, waving them repeatedly aloft, 
encouraging the valor of our regiment and stimulating with new vigor our 
thinned ranks. My boys, he shouted, Your ammunition is never expended 
while you have your bayonets, and use them to the socket ! 

The battle at this juncture raged furiously. The trees were lopped and the 
leaves fell as thick as snowflakes, while the balls flew like a hailstorm, the 
solid shot, grape, canister, and shrapnel scattering destruction in all directions. 
It was intimated that the regiments on our right had been repulsed and had 
given way under the destructive fire of the enemy, who also threatened our 
right flank and were at that moment gradually gaining the rear. In this situa 
tion one regiment was ordered to face by the rear rank and wheel obliquely by 
a quarter on the proper right, and then become the left. This manoeuvre was 
rapidly executed, but during its performance, our commander, Colonel McLane, 
was killed, and Major Nagel mortally wounded. 

" The enemy, being fairly driven from the woods, as a last resort made their 
final stand on their own chosen ground. Major Von Vegesack, who was serving 
voluntarily as aide, came galloping along our lines, and, in a voice never to be 
forgotten, ordered the Eighty-third to face by the right flank, advance, half to 
the left, thereby still keeping the rear rank in front, deep on the center, and 
again face the foe. This cool and determined move on the part of Major Von 
Vegesack, which cannot be too warmly appreciated by the Eighty-third, so as 
tounded the enemy, who were drawn up in line at about a hundred yards dis 
tance, that they remained perfectly motionless for several minutes. They waved 
signals, which we did not understand, and finally sent forward a flag of truce, 
the Eighty-third sending out an officer to receive their communications, which 
were to the effect that they considered themselves so powerful that we had 
better surrender. 

"This proposition, I need hardly say, caused some indignant mirth among us, 
and before the officers of the Eighty-third, who bore our flag of truce, returned 
to the ranks, the rebels, contrary to the rules of civilized warfare, poured a 
deadly volley into the ranks of our regiment. We fell flat on the ground, then 
rising to our knees, returned the fire, which was kept up in the bravest and 
most determined manner against overwhelming numbers, keeping the enemy at 
bay until dark, when the total expenditure of our cartridges caused us to retreat 
across the Chickahominy River." 

The "Seven Days " Battle before Richmond commenced with the battle of Oak Grove, on the 25th 
of June, when General Lee s attack on the right wing was made without decisive results. In an engagement 
at Mechanicsville on the 26th, General Hill, of the Confederate Army, was repulsed, with considerable 
loss, by the Sixth Corps under Porter. 




V-- KINS touches 
briefly upon his 
rescue of a wound 
ed comrade in his 
description on the 
action at Gaines 
Mills, Va., but he 
was reported and 
highly praised for 
this act. 

Our regiment, the First New Jersey Volun 
teers, was ordered from the south side of the 
Chickahominy River to support Fitz John Porter, 
who was attacked at that 
place, by Stonewall 
Jackson and Longstreet. 
determined to crush our 
right wing. We reached 
the field about 1 P. M., 
and were sent in to re 
lieve the Fourteenth Reg 
ulars. The First Michi 
gan s right was turned, 
and they were swept from 
the field for a short time. 
This left an opening by 
which the Fourth New 
York Volunteers were taken prisoners, only about ninety escaping, our regiment 
being compelled to retire its right. A similar movement was taking place on 
the left, leaving our company in the apex of the angle, thus made. 


Private, Co. 1, 1st New Jersey Vols. 

Born at Hope, New Jersey, 

May 1C, 1842. 

On the 27th of June the Fifth Corps, with about 25,000 men, was attacked by a rebel force of 70,000, on 
(iaines Mills Heights, and made a firm stand until the cavalry was repulsed, falling back in disorder on 
the lines. The enemy, pursuing their advantage, had almost accomplished the destruction of the corps 
when darkness enabled the Federals to cross the river. 

On the 28th the general retreat began, during which occurred the engagements of Salvage Station. 
Glendale (Charles City Cross Roads), Peach Orchard, Chickahomiiiy, White Oak Swamp, and Malvern Hill. 

At the last-named place, on July 1, the Second, Third, and Sixth Corps occupied a strong position, pro 
tected by gunboats on the river. The enemy s attack was defeated and the rebel force rendered incapable 
of further pursuit. The Union loss during the Seven Days Battle is estimated at 15,249; the Confederate 
at 17,583. 


"The order to retire, keeping up the fire, was given by our captain. Not 
hearing the order, or unconscious of the dangerous position, the company did 
not retire promptly, and the enemy poured a terrific fire on us from every 
point but our immediate rear, and even that was not exempt until we reached 
a point parallel with the line of battle. 

"A comrade and myself were laggards in retiring, but w r ere keeping up the 
fire. Having been twice wounded, I was looking for shelter to cover by back 
ward movement, and, while moving from one place to another among the 
bushes, came across Sergeant Richard Donnelly of our company, who was 
badly wounded in the right leg. I told him I would take him out, and we 
could both chance the awful fire from all quarters. I got him on my back, 
and through that gauntlet of flame and bullets, made my way to the rear in 

" I was badly wounded in the hand twenty minutes after leaving him, and 
was left for dead on the field, but recovered, and was taken prisoner the next 
morning, being released five hoars later with a large number of wounded who 
were able to walk." 



of the Chickahominy," as he was called, 
was but little over sixteen years of age when 
he enlisted in 1862. At the battle of Gaines 
Mills, Va., the second of the Seven Days Battle 
before Richmond, and during his subsequent 
experience with the army, his great pluck and 
nerve, his presence of mind and fortitude, es 
tablished for him a record which is barely sug 
gested by the official description, " distinguished 
bravery in battle." 

From early morning of that memorable day, 
the enemy ha,d been concentrating in front of 
Porter s Corps, believing that the whole of 
McClellan s force was before them. Several times they had charged the Union 
lines in force, but had been repulsed each time with great loss. 

General Butterfield s Brigade, composed of the Twelfth, Seventeenth, and 
Forty-fourth New York Infantry, Eighty-third Pennsylvania Infantry, and Six 
teenth Michigan Infantry, occupied the extreme left of the line, resting on the 


Private, Co. C, 16th Michigan Infantry. 
Born at Rochester, N. Y., Nov. 25, 1844. 


Chickahominy Swamp, not far from Bottom s Bridge, which with a corduroy 
road across the swamp, offered the only means of retreat to the left flank in 
case of defeat. 

The sun was low on the horizon w r hen the enemy advanced, four columns deep, 
to charge the Union center by an enfilading movement. They broke through the 
weakened lines and forced the left flank back into the swamp, where, for a 
time, it looked as if the entire corps had been caught like rats in a trap. The 


stampede was so complete that a part of the brigade, under Butterh eld, was forced 
back almost into the swamp. At this juncture General Butterfield and a part of 
his staff rode into the lines, calling upon his men to rally and save the day. 
Young George Sidman. caught by the enthusiasm of the moment, seized one 
of the guidons of his regiment, and, rushing to the side of the general, called 
upon his comrades to rally there. His action, with the calls of the officer, 
had the effect of rallying a remnant of the brigade, and, in less time than it 
takes to tell the story, this handful of men formed a "forlorn hope" that 
charged back, and almost crossed bayonets w T ith the enemy, then in full posses 
sion of the field. The rebels, not knowing the strength of the force charging 
them, fell back a short distance, and night set in before they discovered that 
" Stonewall " Jackson s army had been whipped by less than a thousand 


Yankees. There is little doubt that this " forlorn hope " rally, incited, in a 
measure, by the heroic example of George Sidman, was the means of saving 
the Fifth Corps from almost total destruction. 

Sidman was severely wounded by a minie ball through the left hip, in the 
charge back upon the enemy, and lay upon the field until the firing ceased, 
when he clubbed his musket over a stump, to destroy its usefulness to the 
enemy, and threw his accoutrements into a ditch of water near by. He 
crawled off the field and through Chickahominy Swamp on his hands and 
knees, being unable to walk, or even stand, on his wounded leg. The next 
morning he was picked up by an ambulance and taken to Savage Station, 
where, two days later, he was taken prisoner with 8,000 other sick and 
wounded, left by McClellan to the tender mercies of the enemy. 

He celebrated the 4th of July by a ride to Richmond on a flat car, exposed 
all day to the hot sun, without food or water, weak and helpless. He was con 
fined in Libby Prison, Castle Thunder, and finally at Belle Isle. While at the 
last-named place gangrene formed in his wound, and, without medical attention 
he would have died, as thousands of others did from the same cause, had he 
not cured it himself by the most heroic treatment. He had with him a little 
house-wife," containing, among other things, a small package of capsicum, 
which he deliberately poured into the open wound. The remedy was nearly as bad 
as the disease, but Sidman declares that it removed the gangrene and saved his life. 

He was exchanged in August and sent to the hospital at Point Lookout, 
Md., but the place was so isolated and lonesome that he begged to be sent 
north. This request being refused, he took passage one night in the stoke-hole 
of a steamboat going up the Potomac River, and arrived the following morn 
ing in Washington, where he reported at the War Department and requested to 
be sent to his regiment, then campaigning in Virginia. The spectacle of a sol 
dier on crutches, of very uninviting appearance, reporting at the headquarters 
of the army and requesting to be sent to his regiment for duty, was such a 
novelty that the officers regarded him as a lunatic. 

The hospitals being crowded at this time with the wounded from the second 
battle of Bull Run, he was sent to Convalescent Camp, near Alexandria, Va., 
where he remained until he could move about with the aid of a stick, when, 
hearing that his regiment was encamped not far away, he took "French Leave," 
and joined his company much to the amazement of his comrades. The surgeon 
of the regiment would not certify him for duty, because his wound was not yet 
healed, and as it was evident that he could not march, he was ordered to re 
turn to the hospital, which he refused to do. The following day the army 
started on the Maryland Campaign, and his regiment marched away, leaving 
him behind to shift for himself. Nothing daunted, he begged a ride across the 
river to Georgetown, and succeeded in reaching his regiment that night, nearly 
worn out. The next morning he found a condemned horse by the roadside, and, 
with a bridle made of knapsack straps, and a pile of blankets to soften the pro 
truding bones of his fiery steed, he rode into camp that night. The colonel of 
his regiment, admiring his pluck, ordered that Sidman be permitted to remain 
with the command and that he be allowed rations. He followed his regiment 
to Antietam, mounted on his condemned horse, and participated in the battle 
that resulted in driving General Lee out of Maryland. 






Major, 88th N. Y. Infantry. 

Highest rank attained : Colonel. 

B trn at Tipperary, Ireland, Sept. 13, 1833. 

ON THE morning after the bat 
tle of Gaines Mills, Va., the 
colonel and lieutenant-colonel of 
my regiment, the Eighty-eighth 
New York (Meagher s Irish Bri 
gade), of which I was major, re 
ported sick and went to the 
rear, the command devolving 
on me. 

" The afternoon of that day 
we took up our march for our 
new base, which, we were informed, would be Harrison s Landing, Va. Harassed 
all the way by the enemy, fighting each day and marching at night, Sunday morn 
ing, June 29. we arrived at a place called Savage Station, Va., and were ordered 
to halt and make ourselves as comfortable as possible. Early that day the enemy 
appeared in force at Tyler s and Nelson s farms. My regiment and the Twenty- 
ninth Massachusetts, under Colonel Pierce, were ordered into action at both 
places. The fighting was pretty severe, but the enemy were repulsed, and we 
were ordered back to our original position. 

"The army under General McClellan was crossing the White Oak Swamp on 
its retreat. Our turn came to move, as the corps of General E. V. Sumner, to 
which we were attached, had the rear of the whole army. As we neared White 
Oak Swamp a Confederate Battery of six guns, supported by a large column of 
infantry under Generals Magruder and Huger, opened a terrific fire, which caused 
Sumner s Corps to halt. General W. W. Burns, U. S. A., with his brigade, was 
sent to silence the Battery, and being unsuccessful called for re-enforcements. 
Several regiments were sent to his assistance, notably, the First Minnesota, under 
the gallant Sully, but still the fire of the battery kept up. General Sumner sent 
for the Eighty-eighth Regiment, and when I reported to him he said: Quinlan, 
what formation have you? I answered: Double on the center. Good he said. 
I know your regiment well, and they can deploy at the double-quick. He or 
dered me to report to General Burns, who ordered me forward at double-quick 
to charge the battery. As we started, the enemy s guns ceased firing, and when 
we got within the range that suited them best, their six guns were discharged 
simultaneously. But the Eighty-eighth did not falter. They pushed on and si 
lenced the battery." 


In addition to Major Quinlan s account of the charge, the official statement 
of one of his superior officers is as follows: 

" The conduct of Major Quinlan on that occasion was that of a self-sacrificing 
soldier. He dashed into the very face of death, so far as he could know, thereby 
relieving the troops massed in a cul de sac from the battery s devastating fire, 
and probably discouraging the enemy for the day, for the fighting was not re 
newed after the silencing of their guns until past nightfall. Major Quinlan de 
serves the badge of gallantry to be awarded to the most brave and intrepid on 
the field." 



N THE 80th of June, 1862, after the 
battle of White Oak Swamp, the Fifth 
United States Artillery, of which I was a 
member, was stationed on the road leading 
to Richmond. Va. About four o clock that 
afternoon we received orders to move to a 
new position and, while our regiment was 
preparing to make this move, I saw that 
Captain Mott s Battery, of the First New 
York Artillery, had been abandoned and 
was in danger of being captured by the 
advancing enemy. 

"I at once went to Captain Ayres of our battery and told him that if he 
would let me have two men I would recover some, if not all, of the abandoned 
battery. Permission was granted, and with my two companions I started back. 
" We soon reached the battery, and, after much hard work, in constant danger 
of losing our lives, we succeeded in recovering two guns, two limbers, and cais 
sons, which we delivered to Captain Ayres." 

The service which George Uhry performed and here describes, deserves notice, 
not only for the bravery of the act, but for its importance in preventing a pos 
sible advantage to the enemy. 


5th U. S. Artillery. 
Born in Baden, Germany, Oct. 31, 1838. 



account of the trying posi 
tion maintained by the battery 
under his command at White 
Oak Swamp: 

"During the retreat of the 
Army of the Potomac, com 
manded by General George B. 
McClellan, from in front of Rich 
mond to Harrison s Landing, Va., 
the batteries to which I belonged 
- A and C, Fourth United States 
Artillery, commanded by Cap 
tain George Hazard, a veteran 
of the Mexican War, was de 
tailed as part of the rear guard, 
which was composed of Richard 
son s Division of Sumner s Corps, 
covering the retreat from Savage 
Station to White Oak Swamp. 
After three days of constant 
fighting we reached White Oak Swamp, and there had a narrow escape from capture. 

" On the morning of June 30, about nine o clock, arriving at the sw T amp, and dis 
covering that the bridge had been burned by the retreating army, we made the 
crossing at the place where the bridge had been, to the intense astonishment of 
our army, congregated on the other side watching the perilous experiment. The 
Confederates were striving with all their skill to build a new bridge, and. on the 
defeat of this attempt, depended the safety of our army. On the heights oppo 
site the Confederates were piled enormous quantities of our transportation, ac 
cumulated there in our hasty retreat from Richmond. Sumner s Corps still 
occupied the post of honor on the rear guard, and Batteries A and C were ordered 
into position on the brow of the hill with instructions to prevent the enemy 
from crossing, and to hold the ground at any cost. About ten minutes after our 
taking position, Captain Hazard was mortally wounded and carried from the 
field, the command then devolving upon me, the senior lieutenant present for 

" Our battery was made the object of attack by some thirty pieces of artillery 
concentrated by the enemy in an endeavor to dislodge us from our position. 
The fire from the guns was frightful, and there was not a portion of the battery 


1st Lieutenant, 4th U. S. Artillery. 

Highest rank attained: Colonel. 
Born in New York City, March 21, 1838. 


that did not get its share of it. Our fire was so accurate that it was impossible 
for the enemy s engineers and bridge builders to accomplish their work while 
we were pouring our spherical case and solid shot into their midst, but the 
strain on us was tremendous. Our battery, consisting of eight guns and about 
one hundred and seventy-five men, was depended upon to reply to a concentrated 
attack by thirty guns that had our range accurately, and whose efforts to dis 
lodge us were most persistent. The fire from Jackson s Artillery was so heavy 
that cannoneers and drivers were shot down and horses killed in such numbers 
that some of the non-commissioned officers took it upon themselves to withdraw 
one of the guns. I went after them and succeeded in having the gun brought 
back to its old position. 

"The demands on our diminished numbers to serve the guns efficiently were 
most exhausting, and it required my constant presence in all parts of the bat 
tery, encouraging and cheering the men, assisting them to serve the pieces, and 
praising them, to give them the confidence necessary to enable our battery to 
accomplish the desired result. 

" We remained in position from 9 A. M. until 2 A. M. the next day, under 
constant fire all the time, losing a great many men and horses from the fire of 
the enemy, but succeeded in preventing them from building the bridge and 
crossing the swamp before our army had reached a place of safety." 




Drummer, 1st New York Vols. 
Born in New York City, Feb. 22, 1845. 

N THAT memorable retreat from Richmond. 
June 30, 1862, the First New York Volunteers, 
in which Benjamin Levy was the drummer, had 
been on picket duty the night before, and it con 
sequently fell to their lot to cover the retreat. 
In this position they were considerably harassed 
by sharpshooters and guerrillas who lay in wait 
for those who fell by the wayside. Levy, who w r as 
little over sixteen years old, was marching with his tent-mate who was sick with 
malaria, and in his feeble condition could make but slow progress. He was about 
to lie down, when Levy broke his drum and cast it aside, took the accoutrements 
and gun of his sick comrade, and encouraged him to keep up so as to avoid capture. 
This regiment became engaged that afternoon in the battle of Charles City 
Cross Roads, Va. (or Glendale). Levy, being a drummer, was not obliged to go into 
action. He reported, however, to his superior officer and bravely volunteered to 


shoulder a rifle and participate in the action on the firing line. His brave offer 
being accepted he proceeded to the front with his regiment and thus became 
actively engaged in the fighting. 

There were four colors in this engagement belonging to the regiment. All but 
two of the color-bearers and corporals were killed or wounded. Immediately he 
threw away his gun, which he still carried in one hand, grasped the other flag and, 

with a stand of colors 
a hasty retreat, dur- 
ceived a slight flesh 

On emerging from 
two colors, he met 
ney, who was in com- 
at that time. The 
what regiment he be 
ing informed, direct- 
where the remnant 
stationed. For his 
the two colors he was 
moted by General 

The day after, at 
Hill, the regiment 
and the men were so 
that their uniforms 
than blue. While 
cross an open field, 


on each shoulder beat 
ing which he re 

the woods with the 
General Phil. Kear- 
mand of his division 
general inquired 
longed to, and on be- 
ed him to the point 
of the regiment was 
gallantry in rescuing 
then and there pro- 
Kearney to be color- 

the battle of Malvern 
had been marching, 
covered with dust, 
looked more gray 
obeying an order to 
they were fired upon 
batteries stationed 
The colonel, Garret 

by one of the Union 

on a hill, the gunners mistaking them for Confederates. 
Dyckman, seeing the danger of his regiment, ordered the men to lie down, 
and directed Levy to unfurl his flag, advance down the center of the field, 
and wave the colors until the firing should cease. Levy promptly obeyed 
and, when the , firing stopped, was about to return to the regiment, when a 
volley from the enemy s pickets or sharpshooters, lined along the edge of the 
woods, opened upon him. The staff of the colors was struck, and a ball pierced 
the tin cup attached to his haversack. He lay down, tore his handkerchief 
into strips, with which he tied his colors up, and then rolled over and over 
back to the regiment, arriving safe amid the laughter and applause of his 



IT WAS at Charles City Cross Roads that Corporal Shambaugh captured a Con 
federate flag. During the battle his eye was caught by the stars and bars 
of a Georgia regiment waving defiantly amid the hail of shot and shell not 
far away. He remarked to Sergeant Howard, who stood near him, that, as the 
Confederates had taken some of their battle flags at Gaines Mills, and had captured 
at the same time, nine companies of the Eleventh Pennsylvania Reserves, it would 
be a good idea to retaliate. 

The two men took up a position considerably in advance of the Federal line 
of battle, and, when the rebels charged, Shambaugh dashed forward, in the face 
of almost certain death, and grappled with the color-bearer for his flag. A very 
short tussle ensued, and Shambaugh succeeded in wresting the color from the 
bearer. Upon gaining the colors he turned and ran, and managed, in the Federal 
countercharge, to get back to the ranks unhurt. Howard was separated from 
Shambaugh at the beginning of the charge, and had no hand in the capture. 


CAPTAIN RAFFERTY S story as he tells it, shows, be 
sides an extraordinary degree of nerve and pluck, 
that love of fighting which seems to have been 
characteristic of the members of the Irish Brigade. He 

"I was seventeen years old when I enlisted as a private 
in the Sixty-ninth New York Volunteers. This was not 
the Sixty-ninth Militia, which, in the volunteers, had 


private, co. B, 69th K.Y. vol. inf. another number. Both regiments, however, were enlisted 

Highest rank attained: Captain. : ^ Pw Vr^L- rS4- v anr ] m riptv fivP rPr PPTlt of OUT* rpcri 

Born in New York City, June 12, 1845. 1T V> all( Uineiy-Ilye p6 regl- 

ment were Irishmen. We were in the Irish Brigade, 

and were called into action at Malvern Hill. Va., late in the afternoon of 
the first day of July, 1862, the last day of the fight before Richmond. The Sixty- 
ninth, Colonel Robert Nugent, and the Eighty-eighth New York attempted to check 
the advance of a powerful column of rebels. We were in the lead, and as soon 
as we had exhausted our sixty rounds of cartridges, the Eighty-eighth took our 
place until we could get a fresh supply of ammunition and go into the fight again. 
"We had scarcely gotten well warmed up before Colonel Nugent saw that a 
detachment of the enemy had mounted the foothills and was bearing down upon 


our flank. Nugent charged with both regiments, and we had a hand-to-hand 
encounter with the famed Louisiana Tigers. The Terriers wiped the Tigers 
off the field, but we were pretty well used up ourselves. 

" It was in this part of the fight that I felt a stinging sensation in my right 
thigh and realized that I was hit. It made me limp, but I concluded to stay in the 
ring in fact there wouldn t have been anywhere else to go until there should 


have been a lull in the fighting. After we had repulsed the Tigers, our 
company (B) took stock of the dead and wounded. Captain Thomas Leddy told 
several of us who had been hit, to go to the rear, but there was nothing at the 
rear that could do us any good no surgeons, no ambulances. We would be 
among strangers, and, if our army shifted its position, it might leave us in the 
hands of the enemy. 

"I don t want to go to the rear, captain, said I, I m all right. I ll stay and 
fight it out with the boys. So after some arguing, the captain let all of us come 
back to the company who were able to get around. 


"But the Tigers hadn t had enough, and, at about half-past eight, they came 
up to the assault again. There were a thousand men on each side in full view 
of each other, and for ten minutes shooting was good. Then Colonel Nugent 
ordered a charge, and that was the end of the Tigers. Their colonel was captured 
and with him a good many men. 

I didn t come out of this second fight in as good condition as the first. I 
got two bullets in the mouth and the lower part of the jaw, which smashed the 
bones and carried away part of my tongue. Besides this another went through 
my foot entering at the top and coming out at the sole. 

"I was left on the field for a long time, and two days later was captured 
and sent to Libby, reaching there on the Fourth of July. In those last seven 
days of fighting I had received just seven wounds but as I was rated a good 
shot in my company, and could hit anything I fired at, it is very likely that I 
did not have the worst of the bargain. 

"I was exchanged later, and was discharged in March, 1863, on account of 
my wounds, having served a year and a half. In 1864 I had recovered suffi 
ciently to re-enlist in the Sixth District of Columbia Volunteers, in which I was 


IT WAS at the battle of Baton Rouge, La., on the 5th 
of August, 1862, that John C. Curtis, then a second 
lieutenant, performed an act of military daring, which 
won the plaudits of his comrades, the commendation of 
officers, and the official recognition of his Government. 
Twenty-five hundred Federals faced a foe of twice 
this strength. For eight hours the struggle continued 
with varying success until the Union gunboats Essex, 
Sumter, and Kineo came to the support of the troops 
and rendered most valuable assistance. 

General Williams, who in a brilliant charge led the 
Yankees to victory, was shot in the chest and killed 
during this engagement. Under ordinary circumstances 
the death of the commander might have caused a panic among the 
troops. The presence of mind of the various officers, however, prevented any 
such disastrous effect. One of these was Second Lieutenant Curtis. His un 
daunted courage animated and inspired the men. He was always in the lead, 
once even approaching the enemy so closely as to be within their own rank. 
With great coolness and nerve he captured two rebel soldiers and at the point 
of the bayonet marched them to the regimental headquarters. 


Born at Bridgeport, Conn. 




T THE battle of Cedar Mountain," writes 
Private Yunker, "our command was 
flanked by the enemy on the right, and 
we came under a heavy cross-tire from our 
own guns in the rear, while we were, at 
the same time, under a severe fire, at close 
range, from the Confederate batteries. Our 
men fell dead and wounded almost by 
companies. Captain Anderson called for a 
volunteer to carry an order back to our 
artillery, to cease firing on us, and notic 
ing that the men were hesitating, I stepped 
forward, took the order and safely deliv 
ered it to the captain of the battery. 

" On my quarter-of-a-mile trip, shot and shell and missiles of every descrip 
tion flew around me like hail, but I reached the officer unharmed, and on my 
return received only a slight wound in the left arm." 

It requires but slight powers of reading between the lines, to discern, in 
this brief and modest recital, a deed of the utmost bravery. It appears, that 
the enemy, perceiving the mission of the daring volunteer, made him the ob 
jective point of their concentrated fire during his trip to and from the battery, 
so that his escape alive was a very narrow one. Although wounded in the 
performance of this service, he returned to his company and resumed his place 
in the fighting line. 


Private, Co. A, 12th U. S. Infantry. 
Born in Wiirtemherg. Germany, November 16, 1836. 

Cedar Mountain. On the 9th of August, General Pope in command of the Army of Virginia, with 
about 32,000 men, came in contact with a rebel force, under Jackson, of between 18,000 and 20,000, at a little 
stream called Cedar Run, near Gordonsville. Va. 

The cannonading on both sides was heavy, and the battle was of short duration, fortune seeming, at 
first, in favor of the Union men ; but a brilliant rally, led by Jackson himself, changed the conditions, and 
the rebels drove our troops from the field. The loss to Pope s command amounted to about 1,400 ; the Con 
federate loss being 1,307. 



ONE of the most conspicuous individual incidents 
of the second battle of Bull Run was the ex 
ploit of James Webb, who relates the circumstances 
and partly describes the fight. 

" We went into action with the Nineteenth New 
York Infantry, and while waiting for orders, with 
JAMES W.WEBB, the Tenth on our left, we were permitted to make 

Private, Co. F, 5th N. Y. Infantry. , 

Highest rank attained: Brevet Captain. COftee. W 6 had not DCCn long at thlS, when Colonel 

Born at Brooklyn, N. Y., Sept. 20, 3844. /-^ 7-. -ITJ n i <M u_ j_- -.LI 

G. R. Warren rode up, and, atter a consultation with 

General Reynolds, gave the order, Forward, guide center, and away we 
went, carrying our kilters of coffee with us. We continued the march until 
within about ten paces from the edge of the woods, where Longstreet s Army, 
under Hood and Evans, was concealed. Six companies of the Tenth were de 
ployed to the front as skirmishers, but in a few minutes they came back helter- 
skelter, having found the enemy in the woods. 

" The rebels came out directly behind them, so that we were unable to fire, 
lest we fire into our own men, and we therefore opened our ranks to let the 
skirmishers through. The enemy s fire was too much for us, and we were 
swept off the field as if mown down by a scythe. When we got beyond the 
creek we halted, and what was left of us reformed. 

" Though we had been through the Peninsular Campaign under General 
McClellan, we were dodging bullets like raw recruits. While thus engaged, I 
saw that Hazlett s Battery (D), Fifth U. S. Artillery, was still in position at 
the edge of the woods, firing away as if victory were ours, and wholly unaware 
of the fact that our forces had drawn back. There was the battery, without 
support of any kind, and Evans Brigade preparing to charge it. I wondered 
what that battery was doing out there all alone, and, in my excitement I 
called out that they would be captured. I said: 

" I am going over there and tell them of their danger, and with that I 
started across the field. 

At the Second Battle of Bull Run, which occurred on the 30th of August, 1862, General Pope was in 
command of a force near Groveton, consisting of two of Heintzelman s divisions, under Hooker and Kearney, 
on the right, and Reno and Sigel, on the left. He was opposed by Lee s entire army. 

The attack was made on the enemy s left, with disastrous result to the Union force. On the following 
day the attack was renewed on the left, which at first retired, as Lee s plan was also to attack Pope on his 
left. Porter s Corps, in pursuit of a supposed flying foe, received a severe check from the rebels concealed 
in the woods, and was repulsed with great loss. 

Our troops retreated across Bull Run under cover of darkness, unpursued by the enemy. 

The Union loss in this engagement amounted to 14,462; the rebels lost 9,197. 


" At this time the firing had ceased, but I was no more than about fifty feet 
from our lines when the enemy, evidently surmising my intention, opened fire 
upon me. The bullets whistled all around me, but I kept on, for I was in a 
place where I could not stop. 


" I finally reached the battery, which was about 600 feet away from us, and 
managed to say to Lieutenant Hazlett: 

"The Rebs are on your front and rear! 

" He looked around, and, seeing his danger, at once ordered the battery to 
limber up to the rear, and away we went to the Warrenton Turnpike. 

"Just as we started, a bullet struck me in the side and went through me. 
As we were hurrying back, each man for himself, there was no one to assist 
me, and, after falling down three or four times, I finally reached the turnpike, 
where I dropped. 

" After lying there some time a surgeon came along, and, seeing that I was 
pretty badly wounded, ordered me taken to the rear, a fit subject for the hos 
pital. This I did not want done, and. with the assistance of some of the boys, 
I made my way to Centreville, about eight miles distant. After my wound was 
dressed, I joined my company and fought with it through the Maryland 



NERVE and pluck are essential qualifications of a soldier. They were abun 
dantly displayed by the Union men, but here is a sample which earned for 
Sergeant Mills an official recognition and will awaken the interest of every 
reader. The sergeant himself narrates : 

" I was on the advance guard with some of our men September 4, 1862, 
when we moved towards Sandy Cross Roads. Some noise and faint cheering 

gave us our direction. When we came in sight 
of Sandy Cross Roads, we discovered the rebels. 
Giving the signal to our troops, we rushed in 
on the surprised enemy as fast as our horses 
could carry us. It happened that my horse 
carried me in the lead. Before I realized it, 
I was right among the rebels. That I came 
out of the affair alive, was a surprise to me. 
At the time, however, I thought of nothing 
but to capture the enemy before me. Unmind 
ful of all danger I kept yelling to them : Sur 
render Surrender. 

"The rebels were completely taken by sur 
prise. They believed the Yankees to be miles 
away. They were actually paralyzed and did 
not recover from their surprise, until the cap 
tain arrived with the rest of our troops. Then they tried a little resistance - 
some of them even stood their ground, others ran and got behind anything 
they could find. 

" During the melee a rebel aimed his gun at Captain Hamilton, but I had 
just time enough to spur in on him and cut him down, before he fired. 

" We captured about 120 Confederates and nearly 100 horses and mules. 
While occupied in gathering them in, a most satisfactory job for a soldier, a 
colored lad came up to me and told me, that two prisoners had got away and 
gone down the road with a mule and cart. He added : 

" Boss, they may stop at a store four miles down the road. Here was some 
thing for me to do ; I took one man and started after them, in the hurry even 
forgetting to notify the captain. 

"We soon came in sight of the store and, sure enough, the mule was tied 
outside. No one saw us come up, so I dismounted, gave my bridle to my com 
panion, and crept up to the store. The rebels were just relating their experi- 


Sergeant, Co. A, 8th N. Y. City Militia. 

Born at Middle town, Orange Co., New York, 

August 5, 1845. 


ence with the damned Yankees, when I sailed m on them and shouted : Sur 
render ; I fired a shot in order to scare them, and, finding their guns near the 
door, had little trouble in capturing everything in sight. 

"As we hastened the mule and the prisoners back to our lines, we barely 
escaped being left behind by our command. Captain Hamilton was very glad to 


see us return. He had missed us, and was reluctant to go without us, though 
he knew, that every minute spent on this ground might have brought an attack 
by the rebels to free their comrades. 

Our prisoners felt greatly mortified to think, that a sergeant and thirty-five 
Yankee soldiers should have captured them, when it had been within their power 
to do us up, and let no one go back to tell the story." 



2d Lieutenant, Co. G, 1st Mo. L. Art. 

Highest rank attained: Lieutenant-Colonel, 

Born at Newark, N. J., Feb. 16, 1843. 

private in Co. G, First Missouri Infantry in 
1861. From September of that year he served 
continuously throughout the war, never absent 
from his command a single day and, though 
twice wounded, always in active service. He 
saw, perhaps, as much real hard fighting, and 
actual duty, as any other man. He has the 
distinction of being the youngest officer in 
command of a battery. 

"I was nineteen years old." Lieu 
tenant Follet writes, "when at the 
battle of Perryville, Ky., I had charge 
of a battery as first sergeant. Again 
at the age of twenty-one, as a second 
lieutenant, I drew and equipped a 
six-gun battery and reported to Gen 
eral King on Lookout Mountain. I 
commanded Fort Sheridan, one of the defenses at the right of Chattanooga, 
which I afterward turned over to my successor. Later I was appointed ad 
jutant of the Artillery District of the Etowah, General J. B. Steedman com 
manding, comprising the defenses of Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga, and 

Lieutenant Follet took part in all the battles and campaigns under Generals 
Sheridan, Pope, King, and Steedman, who repeatedly selected him to carry 
orders under the most trying circumstances. He himself says in regard to 
these services: 

It really looked sometimes as though I would never return. On more than 
one occasion I had a miraculous escape from death." 

That Lieutenant Follet in the pursuit of these missions overcame all 
dangers and obstacles is evidence of his daring bravery and great presence of 

He was wounded at the battle of New Madrid, Mo., March 2, 1862, and at 
Farmington, Miss., May 9, 1862, yet, as stated before, continued in active serv 
ice. He received his Medal of Honor for his intrepidity and fine soldierly 
qualities throughout his military career and was honored by General Sheridan 
by special mention in several reports of important battles and in the general s 
personal memoirs. 

tainted by E. Jahn 






Corporal, BatteiT H, 3d N. Y. Lt. Art. 
Born at Oriskany Falls, N. Y., Sept. 7, 1841. 

EFORE daylight of September 6, 1862, the men 
of Battery H, New York Light Artillery 
of which I was a corporal, were encamped in the 
streets of Little Washington, N. C. We were 
ordered to fall in, and an expedition consisting 
of Battery H, four guns, a detachment of 
cavalry and infantry and a supply train, 
started for some point unknown to us. 

" The morning was dark and foggy. Sev 
eral gunboats lay in the stream, the men 
on board being asleep. After the column 

had moved six or seven blocks, firing was heard to the left. Then a mounted 
officer appeared, shouting that the town had been surprised by a large force. 
A stampede immediately followed this announcement and the column ahead was 
in complete confusion. The cavalry following maintained discipline. The order 
of the commanding officer: Steady, men could be plainly heard. The lieu 
tenant in charge of one gun having disappeared in the confusion, I assumed com 
mand and proceeded rapidly in the direction of the firing. 

"After advancing some blocks we came upon the remainder of the battery 
unlimbered and read}^ for action. We continued until we reached River Street, 
where the gun was unlimbered and loaded with canister. Our piece was unsup 
ported. As the men finished loading, the fog lifted, and a body of men filling 
the entire street, and numbering about 600, was discovered marching rapidly 
toward our gun. I hesitated, not knowing who they were. Just then Adjutant 
Guiero, of the Third New York Cavalry, rode up and said: 
" Young man. why don t you fire? 
"I replied: I don t know who they are. 
" Quite right. he said. Til soon see. 

"He advanced in the direction of the men, but. in an instant, he wheeled 
and shouted: In God s name fire! 

" Then I gave the order to fire, and in a few minutes fifteen charges of 
canister were hurled against the advancing men, who first halted, and then re 
treated rapidly in the direction whence they came. Up to this time not one of 
my small detachment had been injured except myself, a bullet cutting my ear 

" The gun was then limbered, and we followed the enemy up the street to the 
next block, where the Tar River Bridge provides an entrance to the town. 


Upon arriving at the corner we could see that the retreating Confederates were 
mixed in confusion with another regiment, which had been following them. 
The officers were endeavoring to rally and reform their lines. We again at 
tempted to unlimber the gun, but the horses, in making a short turn at the 
entrance to the bridge, became stalled, and the gun remained fast. 

" Just then the Confederates discharged a volley, a portion of which struck 
the wheel horses, causing them to plunge and wheel. Now our men were en 
abled to unlimber the gun. Before it could be loaded, however, the Confeder 
ates were upon us with their bayonets, and a hand-to-hand fight ensued in front 


of the gun. During this combat John Malone and John McGrehan loaded the 
gun with canister. We immediately discharged it, and after a few shots the 
street was rapidly cleared of the enemy. But their rifle fire on the street was 
terrible. Within a few minutes every man at the gun was killed except John 
Malone and myself. Two soldiers from Battery G, one named Lincoln, the other 
Albert Willard, three members from Potter s North Carolina Infantry, and 
three members of the Third New York Cavalry then joined us and assisted in 
working the gun. 

"A large body of Confederates, in the meantime, had entered the grounds 
of ex-Governor Grice s residence and was pouring volley after volley into our 
detachment. The last charge left was a solid shot. All our newly joined com- 

rades had been killed or wounded, and Malone and I loaded the gun for the 
last time. Just before the shot was inserted into the gun a bullet shattered 
my knee, and as I fired, Malone received a shot through the body, which com 
pletely paralyzed his leg. 

" He threw his arms about me and I carried him on my back to the bridge 
stairs, hobbling along with the aid of my saber. How it was possible to reach 
the edge of the water alive, is a mystery to me. A cutter then took us both, 
with the wounded Lincoln, to the gunboat Louisiana. As our gun ceased firing, 
the Louisiana came into action, her guns covering the position we had 
abandoned, and soon after the Confederates were in full retreat. 

" The next day, September 7, on my twenty-first birthday, my leg was 
amputated above the knee. While I was lying in the hospital at New Berne, Major- 
Greneral J. B. Foster, the corps commander, and Colonel J. H. Ladlie, the regi 
mental commander, met at my bedside. The colonel said that the action of 
my gun detachment had saved Little Washington to the Union forces." 

On September 12, 1862, Corporal Wilson Smith was promoted to the rank of 
sergeant for the gallantry which he describes so graphically. 


/^~>ORPORAL L. H. INSCHO describes his act of 
\*-^ bravery as if it were but a mere in 
cident in the course of his regular duty. 

" I was a member of Co. E, Twelfth Ohio 
Infantry, when, at South Mountain, Md., our 
regiment, with others, charged the Confed 
erates, who were posted behind a stone wall 
on the side of the mountain. As we approached 
the enemy, a rifle-ball struck my gun, wounding 
my left hand. While I stopped to examine my 
piece and my hand, the regiments made a flank 
movement to the left, leaving me alone near the 

"A Confederate captain was on the other side, 
and as he came near me, I caught him by the 
collar and told him to surrender. He refused, and pointed his revolver at my 
head, but I caught it by the barrel and turned it up just as he fired. I clung 
to the revolver and disarmed him, and grabbing him by the shoulders began 


Corporal, Co. E, 12th Ohio Infantry. 
Born at Chatham, Ohio, July 20, 1840. 



to pull him over the wall. He struggled vigorously and struck me in the face 
several times, but I got him over the wall and knocked him down compelling 
him to surrender. 

"I then turned my attention to some of his men, who were taking refuge 
behind a clump of trees. I pointed my revolver at them and demanded their 
surrender. Four of them dropped their guns and came over to the Union side 
of the wall, but a fifth man came up to me with his gun in his hand and 
swore he would not give up to a Yankee. He took aim at me as he spoke, and 
I dropped behind the wall just as he fired. 

" He turned to run away and I at once rose from my position and emptied 
the contents of my revolver into him. I then ordered the captain and his four 
men to fall in, and marched them over to the colonel of my regiment." 


PRIVATE JAMES ALLEN furnishes a fine example of 
audacity and presence of mind in the following 

"On the 14th of September, 1862, our regiment 
engaged the enemy at South Mountain, Md. A charge 
brought us to a dense cornfield, separated from the 
base of the mountain by a stone wall. While we were 
charging through the corn, the command: Right 
oblique was given, which a comrade and myself did 
not hear. We kept straight on toward the wall. 
When quite near it we were met by a volley which 
checked us for a moment. My comrade said to me: 

" Hold on. Jim. what shall we do? 

" We ll charge them from behind that wall, I replied. 

"At our approach the rebels retreated from the 
breastworks up the steep mountain side. We followed and climbed the wall. A 
ball struck my brave comrade in the left leg and made him unfit for further 


Private, Co. F, 16th N. Y. Infantry. 
Born in Ireland, May 0, 1843. 

South Mountain. After the capture of Colonel Miles with 11,583 men, at Harper s Ferry, General 
Jackson hurried with the greater part of his force to rejoin General Lee. 

McClellan learning the Confederate plan, ordered Franklin s Corps to pass through Crampton s Gap 
of the South Mountain, a continuation of the Blue Ridge, to relieve Harper s Ferry; the corps of Reno and 
Hooker he moved to Turner s Gap. 

McClellan himself arrived at the passes on the 14th of September, but Lee had observed the move 
ment and posted forces at both points. 

A bloody all-day battle ensued in which the Union men forced the passage of the mountain. 

The loss at Turner s Gap was 1,500 on each side, 1,500 prisoners being taken by the Union troops. At 
Crampton s Gap, the loss was about 500 on each side, and 400 rebel prisoners were taken. 

action. I found a comfortable place 
for the poor fellow in a crevice and 
gave him a drink from my canteen. 
-Richards," said L -if I pull through 
all right* IH come and take care of 
jam. 9 I then followed the retreat- 
...- .--- - - 

~By tins time they had reached 
a road running up the mountain 
which was skirted on our side by 
another wait over which they had 
disappeared. The only thing for me 
to do was to climb also. As I drew 
myself up, I was met by another 
volley, but was only slightly wounded. 
~ Putting on a bold face, and wav 
ing my arms, I said to my imaginary 
company: *ITp, men. up!" 

"The rebels, thinking they were 
cornered, stacked their arms in re 
sponse to my order to surrender. I 
made haste to get between them 
and the guns, and found that I had 
fourteen prisoners and a flag taken 
from the color-guard. 

" While thus situated I saw our 
colonel advancing up the road. Just 
out of gunshot he stopped, and tak 
ing his ^linmiy carefully scanned my 
party. Be then approached, and, 
learning the details, rode back for a guard, to whom I handed over the prisoners. 
~ Knowing that the mountain top was the position to be secured by my regi 
ment, I went up in advance, and when they arrived and saw the captured 
flag they gave three hearty cheers. I spoke to the colonel about my wounded 
comrade lying far down the mountain side, and a party was sent at once to 
bring him in. 

~The morning following this episode found us on the march to Antietam, 
where we arrived at three o clock and went into the fight, charging a battery 
that was shelling our General Hospital, where the surgeona were at work. We 
silenced the battery and then lay on the ground, in position, for twenty- 
four hours." 


~ - i 


I WAS fifteen years of age. and was bugler 
of Battery B. which suffered fearful 
losses in the field at Antietam where I 
won my Medal of Honor." writes Bugler 
John Cook. 

neraJ Gibbon, our commander, had 
just ordered Lieutenant Stewart to take 
his section about one hundred yards to the 
right of the Hagerstown Pike, in front of 
two straw stacks, when he beckoned me 
to follow. Xo sooner had we unlinibered. 
when a column of Confederate infantry, 
emerging from the so-called west woods, 
poured a volley into us. which brought 
fourteen or seventeen of my brave com 
rades to the ground. The two straw stacks 
offered some kind of shelter for our wounded, 
and it was a sickening sight to see those 
poor, maimed, and crippled fellows, crowding on top of one another, while sev 
eral stepping but a few feet away, were hit again or killed. 

-Just then Captain Campbell unlimbered the other four guns to the left of 
Stewart, and I reported to him. He had just dismounted, when he was hit 
twice, and his horse fell dead, with several bullets in its body. I started with the 
captain to the rear and turned him over to one of the drivers. He ordered me to 
report to Lieutenant Stewart and tell him to take command of the battery. I re 
ported, and, seeing the cannoneers nearly all down, and one. with a pouch full of 


"- _ 7 v- -7 : r: ..".".-.--. ; 
!:"::. _ .: ,- : .-. _ 1 >-" 

ABtittim. After MB repute at Sooth Mountain. General Lee, with his force reduced to about 50,000 
crossed Antietam Creek and took op a strong position, with both flanks Testing on the Potomac, the creek 
loving in front, crossed by three bridges and two ford*, all bat the north bridge being strongly guarded. 
In the afternoon of Tuesday, the 16th of September. 1862. General Hooker crossed the Antietam by the 
opper bridge, and, assisted by Somner s Corps, attacked Jackson s flank the next morning, when the bloody 
battle began in earnest. 

At one o clock Burnade carried the ridge commanding Sharpsburg and captured a battery, but a Con 
federate division. 2,000 strong, coming op. compelled him to abandon it. 

Aboot this time die battle ceased withoot apparent victory to either side and with terrible slaughter 
on both. 

Two-thirds of MeClellan s force of 90J900 had been engaged with Lee s entire army. The Union lose 
was 12.489. of which number 2j010 were killed. The Confederates total loss was over 25.000. 


ammunition, lying dead, I unstrapped the pouch, started for the battery, and worked 
as a cannoneer. We were then in the very vortex of the battle. The enemy had made 
three desperate attempts to capture us, the last time coming within ten or fifteen feet 

of our guns. It was at this time that General 
Gibbon, seeing the condition of the bat 
tery, came to the gun that stood in 
the pike, and in full uniform of a 
brigadier-general, worked as a gun 
ner and cannoneer. He was very 
conspicuous, and it is indeed sur 
prising, that he came away alive. 
"At this battle we lost forty- 
four men, killed and wounded, and 
about forty horses which shows 
how hard a fight it was." 
Bugler John Cook, 
although but fourteen 
years of age when he 
enlisted, showed great 
courage and daring in 
every battle in which 
he participated. At 
Gettysburg, Captain 
Stewart was compelled 
to use the bugler as an 
orderly because the 
battery suffered such 
heavy losses. He car 
ried messages to the 
left half of the battery, 
nearly a half mile 
away, the route be 
ing well covered by 
the enemy s riflemen, 
who lost no opportuni 
ty of firing at him, thus 

making it a most perilous undertaking. At the same battle he assisted in de 
stroying the ammunition of a damaged and abandoned caisson, to prevent its 
being of use to the enemy, who were closing in on the Union men. 



THE Fourth U. S. Artillery being short of men, and unable to get recruits for 
the regular service, Captain Gibbon obtained permission from the War De 
partment, to til] his battery detaching men from volunteer regiments. One of 

the men selected from the 
many who responded 
to the call was 
Private Wil 
liam P. Ho- 
garty of the 
Twenty - third 
New York In 

He was one 
of the volun 
teers who were 


promoted to the 
vacancies in the 
rank of non-com 
missioned officers, and 
was made lance corporal. 
It is necessary to explain 

here, that detached volunteers cannot hold an actual rank in the regular service. 
Hence, when Hogarty was promoted lance corporal to h ll the vacancy in the 
rank of non-commissioned officers, the duties and obligations of that rank were 
exacted of him, though his pay and actual rank were not above that of a private. 
Bright and early on the morning of September 17, 1862, made over memorable 
as the bloodiest one-day battle of the war, General Gibbon gave orders to Lieuten 
ant Stewart, commanding the center section, to go to the front with the ut 
most speed, and take position in advance of the skirmish line, on an elevated 
piece of ground to the right of the Hagerstown road, in front of a cluster of 
wheat stacks, and facing the Dunker Church about a half mile distant. The section 
came into action, the cannoneers mounted and the horses started on a run. The 
men had barely time to unlimber the guns, when the charging columns of Stone 
wall" Jackson s Infantry were upon them, determined to capture the section 
and turn the right wing of the army. This furious onslaught was met by a 
rapid, accurate, and deadly fire from these two Napoleon guns of Stewart s sec 
tion, triple shotted with canister, which stopped the charge, driving the enemy 
back with fearful loss. In this charge Stewart s section lost fourteen men out 
of twenty-four actually engaged at the guns. 


Private, Co. D, 23d New York Infantry. 

Highest rank attained: Lieutenant, U. S. A., and Captain, U. S. Vols. 
Born in New York City, Feb. 16, 1840. 


While the enemy were reforming their lines preparatory to renewing their 
attack, the other four guns of the battery under the command of Captain J. B. 
Campbell came up taking position on the right and left of Stewart s section, 
the left gun resting on the Hagerstown Pike. 

The battery had little opportunity to remove its wounded to a barn in the 
rear of the wheat stacks, and to replenish its exhausted ammunition, when the 
re-enforced columns of Jackson s Corps again came madly charging on the bat 
tery. At the same time the enemy s artillery, massed on a hill to the right, 
opened fire on it. This time, however, the charging masses were met by the 
withering fire of the entire six guns, each double and triple shotted with can 
ister. At this critical juncture the "Iron Brigade" charged the enemy on the 
right, and a New York brigade, through the cornfield on the left. During the 
fifteen or twenty minutes that the battle raged around Battery B, it seemed 
that all the missiles of destruction were flying through the sulphur-laden atmos 
phere screeching, hissing, howling their discordant song of death. 

During this final charge, Corporal Hogarty perceived through the stifling air 
one of the guns of the battery, at which all the men had been killed or disa 
bled, standing idle on the summit of the slightly elevated ground, in a very 
commanding position, just in advance of the line of battle. He seized a shrap 
nel, cut the fuse to explode the shell the moment it left the muzzle of the 
gun, and alone and unaided fired it into the ranks of the enemy. 

With a few remaining men and horses the battery was moved into the corn 
field on the left of the Hagerstown Pike, and again unlimbered for action in 
the rear of a firing line of infantry, which acted as a screen and prevented it 
from again becoming engaged. While here awaiting orders, Corporal Hogarty 
picked up a loaded, new .Springfield rifle from the side of a dead soldier. The 
gun was capped and ready for firing. Turning to one of his comrades Hogarty 
said: "Bob, the supply of ammunition is running mighty low to-day, I think I 
will take this gun up to the firing line and help the Doe-boys. (Doe-boys was 
a nickname for infantry soldiers.) 

After the battle of Antietam the battery, its ranks depleted marched with 
the advance of the army through Northern Virginia to Fredericksburg in pur 
suit of the retreating enemy. 

On the evening of December 12, 1862, Battery B, with the advance of the 
First Corps, crossed the Rappahannock River at the lower pontoon bridge. 

The next morning, the 13th, the battery engaged the enemy on the extreme 
left of the army, driving them from their entrenchments. It then swung up to 
the Bowling Green road, and immediately became engaged with a couple of the 
enemy s batteries posted in their front in a commanding position. 

The rebels having previously measured the ground closely, marked the dis 
tances, opened fire on the battery with deadly accuracy, but "old Battery B" 
soon silenced them, dismounting their guns and blowing up their caissons. At 


this critical point, while getting the range for his guns, Corporal Hogarty was 
wounded by a four-inch solid shot striking him just above the elbow, tearing 
off his left arm, necessitating subsequent amputation at the shoulder. The force 
of the blow whirled him around. He fell, landing on his right arm and elbow. 
He was not, however, rendered unconscious. Three of his comrades seeing him 
fall came to his assistance, and with a stick twisted a handkerchief around his 
arm at the shoulder to stop, as much as possible, the flow of blood. 



Sergeant, Co. E, 29th Mass. Infantry. 

Born at Plympton, Plymouth Co., Mass., 

Sept. 29, 1842. 

SERGEANT SAMUEL C. WRIGHT, during his service iii the 
War of the Rebellion, participated in thirty battles. 
In those engagements he was wounded five times 
and twice reported dead. On one occasion he was 
shot directly in the right eye, and still keeps the 
bullet as an awful souvenir of his closeness to death. 
In speaking of the taking of the fence at Antietam, 
he says nothing of his own action but describes the 
wild rush and retreat of the volunteers for that des 
perate service. 

"September 16, 1862, found our division (Richard 
son s) in the advance from South Mountain to An 
tietam, where we came upon the enemy. The shot from the first piece of artil 
lery fired took off the leg of the color-bearer of my regiment. During the 
afternoon of that day the artillery fight was at times very lively. Early the 
next morning troops were sent to engage the enemy in our front. The roar of 
cannon and small arms was deafening. But, while, from where we lay we could only 
hear the cannonading, we could not see the enemy, as a growth of woods im 
paired our view. It was. perhaps, as well, that we could not see the carnage wrought. 
"Soon an aid-de-camp, whose horse was white with foam, rode up to our 
position and ordered us to cross to the support of the troops so hotly engaged. 
We left hurriedly, made a detour to the right and left, and were soon fording 
Antietam Creek. The stream was so deep, that in crossing, we had only to re 
move the stoppers of our canteens and they would fill themselves. We held 
rifles and ammunition above our heads. The opposite bank reached, we re 
moved our shoes, wrung out our stockings, and were then ordered forward, 
straight toward the Sunken Road. Going up the hill we could see the cause 
of our sudden call. The hill was strewn with dead and dying; yes, and with 
those unhurt, for to stand was to be instantly killed by the sharpshooters who 


filled the Sunken Koad. The main army in line was only a few feet to the 
rear of them. 

"Some 200 yards in advance of our position, which we were holding at a 
terrible cost, was a fence built high and strong. The troops in advance had tried to 
scale the fence and reform under that hell of fire. They were actually torn in 
shreds and wedged into the fence. 

The cry came to us for volunteers to pull down the fence. Instantly there 
sprang from the long line, fast being shortened as the ranks closed up over the 
dead, seventy-six volunteers. We ran straight for the 
fence amid a hail of iron and lead, the dead falling all 
about us, but to reach the fence was our only thought, 
A part of the force reached it, and, as one would 
grasp a rail it would be sent flying out of his hands 
by rifle-shots. 

" The fence leveled, we made the attempt to return, 
and it was as hot for us on the retreat, 
as it had been on the advance. 
Few escaped death or 
wounds. I had almost 
regained my regiment, 
when I was hit. The line 
then successfully pressed 
on, and the Sunken 
Koad, or Bloody Lane, 
as it is now known, was 
within our lines." 

Sergeant Wright s in 
trepidity and fine soldier 
ly qualities were readily 
conceded by his superior 
officers and found sub 
stantial recognition by 
two promotions on the 
field of battle. He was 
further rewarded by be 
ing placed in charge of 
the prisons at Paris, Ky., 
and Tazewell, East Ten 






Asst-Surgeon, 33d N. Y. Infantry. 
Born in Ireland. 

THE morning of September 17. 1862, the 
command to which I belonged arrived, after 
a forced march, on the battlefield of Antietam," 
Assistant-Surgeon Richard Curran writes. "My regi 
ment and brigade were immediately put into action. I 
was the only medical officer present, and, in the absence 
of orders how to proceed or where to report. I decided to 
foJlow r my regiment, a course which brought me at once 
into the midst of a battle, terrible but brief, as the enemy, 
after a stubborn resistance, yielded, and fell far to the 
rear. The loss in killed and wounded sustained by the 
Third Brigade in this charge, and in the subsequent effort to hold the position, 
was 813. 

" The ground of the battlefield at this point was a shallow valley looking 
east and w T est. The elevated land on the south was occupied by the Confeder 
ates, while the slight ridge on the north was held by our troops and batteries. 
From this formation of ground it was impossible for our wounded to reach the 
field hospital without being exposed to the fire of the enemy. In a battle men 
will suffer their wounds to go uncared for and undressed for a long time, if in 
a measurably secure place, rather than expose their lives to obtain surgical at 
tention; and this was the case with our wounded. At this point the injured. 
Union and Confederate, numbering many hundred, preferred to remain close to 
the ground, and in shelter of the valley, rather than take the risk of seeking 
care in the rear. During the severest of the fight, and later on, I was told 
many times by the officers and men, that if I did not seek a place of safety I 
\vould surely be killed. I realized that the danger was great, and the warnings 
just, for, in the performance of my work I had to be on my feet constantly, 
with no chance to seek protection. But here were the wounded and suffering of 
my command, and here I believed was my place of duty, even if it cost my life. 

"Close to the lines, and a little to the right, were a number of straw stacks. 
I visited the place and found that many of the disabled had availed themselves 
of this protection. Without delay I had the wounded led or carried to the 
place, and here, with such assistance as I could organize, although exposed to 
the overhead firing of shot and shell. I worked with all the zeal and strength 1 
could muster, caring for the wounded and dying until far into the night. My 
only fear then was that my improvised straw-stack hospital would catch fire. 


But we were spared this misfortune and the harrowing scene w r hich w r ould have 
followed. That there was good reason for this fear is illustrated by one of 
very many similar incidents. While dressing a wound on the leg of a soldier I 
turned away to get something to be used in the dressing. On my return I found 
the leg had been shot off by a cannon ball. 

"Happily," the doctor concludes, "in no other position could I have rendered 


equally good service, for I am confident that, by my action, many lives were 

In the report of the commanding officers of the brigade, Doctor Curran is 
mentioned in one place as follows: 

"Assistant-Surgeon Richard Curran, of the Thirty-third New York Volun 
teers, was in charge of our temporary hospital, which unavoidably was under 
fire. He attended faithfully to his severe duties, and I beg to mention this 
officer with particular commendation. His example is most unfortunately but 
too rare." 




HE First Delaware Infantry," Sec 
ond Lieutenant Charles B. Tan 

ner writes, " formed the right of Briga 
dier-General Weber s Brigade. On the 
morning of the 17th of September, 
1862, we forded Antietam Creek and 
marched in column for a mile and 
facing to the left, advanced in line 
of battle. We now formed the 
first line of General French s Divi 
sion of General Sumner s Second 
Army Corps. 

"Presently the enemy s batteries 
opened a severe fire of spherical case, 
shell and solid shot. We advanced 
steadily through woods and cornfields, driving all 
before us, and met the Confederates in two lines 
of battle, posted in a sunken road or ravine, with 
rudely constructed breastworks of rails, sod, etc., 
and still a third line of troops in a cornfield forty 
yards in the rear, where the ground was gradually 
rising and permitted them to fire at us over the 
heads of those below. Our right was also exposed to the sudden and terrible 
fire from the troops who had broken the center division of our formation. 

"The cornfield, where we had taken up our position terminated about 100 
yards distant from the sunken road, leaving nothing but short grass pasture- 
land between us. 

"On coming out of the corn, we were unexpectedly confronted by heavy 
masses of Confederate infantry, with their muskets resting on the temporary 
breastwork. We all realized that the slaughter would be great, but not a man 
flinched, and cheerfully we went to our baptism of fire. 

"Our colonel dashed in front w T ith the ringing order: Charge! and charge 
we did into that leaden hail. Within less than five minutes 286 men out of 
635, and eight of ten company commanders, lay wounded or dead on that 
bloody slope. The colonel s horse had been struck by four bullets; the lieu 
tenant-colonel was wounded and his horse killed, and our dearly loved colors 
were lying within twenty yards of the frowning lines of muskets, surrounded 
by the lifeless bodies of nine heroes, who died while trying to plant them in 
that road of death. 

2d Lieutenant, Co. H, 1st Del. Infantry. 
Highest rank attained : 1st Lieut. Vols. 
Born at Philadelphia, Pa., Nov. 25, 1842. 


" Those of us who were yet living got back to the edge of the cornfield, and 
opened such a fire, that, though the enemy charged five times to gain possession 
of the flag, they were driven back each time with terrible slaughter. 

" We had become desperately enraged, thinking, not of life, but how to re 
gain the broad strips of bunting under which we had marched, bivouacked, 
suffered, and seen our comrades 
killed. To lose what we had 
sworn to defend with our blood, 
would have been, in our minds, a 
disgrace, and every man of the 
First Delaware was ready to 
perish, rather than allow the 
colors to fall into the hands of 
the enemy. Two hundred rifles 
guarded the Stars and Stripes, 
and, if they were not to be 
recovered by us, the foe 
should not have them, 
while a single member of 
the regiment remained 

"Charge after charge 
was made, and the gallant 
Fifth Maryland, forming 
on our left, aided in 
the defense. The fire 
from our lines direct 
ed to the center of 
that dense mass of 
Confederates, was appall 
ing. Over thirteen hun 
dred noble dead were covered 
with earth in that sunken road 
by the burying party on the 
following day. 

"When the Maryland boys joined us, Captain Rickets, of Company C, our 
regiment, called for volunteers to save the colors, and more than thirty brave 
fellows responded. It seemed as if they had but just started, when at least 
twenty, including the gallant leader, were killed and those who would have 
rushed forward, were forced back by the withering fire. 

"Maddened, and more desperate than ever, I called for the men to make 
another effort, and before we marched fifty yards only a scattering few remained 



able to get back to the friendly corn, in which we sought refuge from the tem 
pest of death. 

" Then Major Thomas A. Smyth ( afterward Major-General, and killed 
on the day General Lee surrendered ) said he would concentrate twenty-five 
picked men. whose fire should be directed right over the colors. 

"Do it, I cried, and I will get there! 

"There were hundreds of brave men yet alive on that awful field, and, at my 
call for assistance, twenty sprang toward me. 

"While covering that short distance, it seemed as if a million bees were 
singing in the air. The shouts and yells from either side sounded like menaces 
and threats. But I had reached the goal, had caught up the staff which was 
already splintered by shot, and the colors pierced with many a hole, and stained 
here and there with the lifeblood of our comrades, when a bullet shattered my 
arm. Luckily my legs were still serviceable, and, seizing the precious bunting 
with my left hand, I made the best eighty-yard time on record, receiving two 
more wounds. 

"The colors were landed safely among the men of our regiment just as a 
large body of Confederate infantry poured in on our flank, compelling us to face 
in a different direction. We had the flags, however, and the remainder of the 
First Delaware held them against all comers." 

Lieutenant Tanner modestly forgets to mention one fact in his vivid pen- 
picture, to wit: That he was promoted on the spot and his bravery formed 
the text of a flattering report. 

After recovering from his wounds he participated in several engagements 
equally as exciting, and one year later was so badly disabled, that he was 
given his discharge. Nevertheless, three months later the lieutenant again took 
up the sword and remained in active service until the war had virtually come 
to an end. Altogether he was wounded three times and has had as many nar 
row escapes from death as any soldier in the army. 


Corporal, Co. D, 28th Pa. Infantry. 
Born in Philadelphia. Pa., Nov. 25, 1&37. 



JACOB G. ORTH disposes of his own daring exploit with the follow- 
ing sketch : " Business commenced quite early for the Twenty-eighth Penn 
sylvania Infantry at Antietam. It was six o clock in the morning, when we 
charged and drove the rebels back across the fields to an apple orchard where 
we encountered a very hard task. No less than three rebel regiments and a 
battery were our opponents. To secure a victory over them meant hard 

" It fell to my lot to encounter the color-sergeant of the Seventh South Car 
olina regiment. A hand-to-hand fight ensued. The final result of our short but 
sharp conflict was, that the Carolinian was minus his flag, and I had secured 
the trophy. I also had a shot wound through my shoulder. Six other stands of 
colors were taken by our regiment in this charge." 

This description, though brief, is sufficiently clear to indicate a hard, stub 
born, and desperate struggle between two men intent on the possession of the 
same object, and reckless of the consequences to themselves. 


AT THE battle of Antietam, Captain Theodore W. Greig, then a lieutenant in 
the Sixty-first New York Infantry, captured the battle flag of the Fourth 
Alabama. The two regiments were close together, firing into each other s 
ranks, when, with a bravado spirit the Alabama color-bearer planted his flag in 


the ground a few paces in front of his regiment, as if defying the Federals and 
daring them to capture it. 

Grreig saw it, and the thought of capturing it had no sooner entered his 
mind, than he was off, running like mad across the open space. The flag was 
in his hands before the Alabamians realized what was happening, but as the 
young officer started back, a shower of bullets was sent after him. Near his 
lines he fell, shot in the neck, but, recovering his strength, saved the flag that 
he had so gallantly captured. 


DURING the battle at Antietam, Colonel William H. Irwin, finding it nec 
essary to dislodge the enemy s sharpshooters, who were annoying a Union 
battery of four Napoleon guns, ordered the Seventh Maine out for that purpose. 
The regiment advanced in front of the skirmishers on the left. Major Hyde 
also threw out skirmishers and soon drove in those of the enemy from the edge 
of a cornfield and a hollow in front of timber. 

The battalion was ordered forward, and, as the enemy opened fire on it from 
the front and left flank, a charge was ordered. With fixed bayonets the men 
rushed forward cheering, led by the gallant major. A body of the enemy in an 
orchard to the left, being flanked, broke and ran. Those directly in front, be 
hind haystacks and outbuildings, also broke, and, their colors having fallen, the 
Seventh pushed on up the hill to secure them, when a rebel regiment suddenly 
rose from behind a stone wall on its right, poured in a volley, and, at the same 
time, double-quicked around to the left to cut off the retreat. Those in front, 
seeing the small number of Union troops, had rallied and advanced in force. 

Looking back and seeing no chance to escape, Major Hyde marched the regi 
ment by the left flank, formed them on a crest in the orchard, poured a volley 
into those who were endeavoring to cut off the retreat, and faced those in front. 
Here the regiment received a severe fire from three directions. A rebel battery 
opened on it with grape, and it suffered heavy loss, although shielded somewhat 
by the trees of the orchard. 

Having disposed of most of their cartridges, the men retreated through the 
orchard, gave the rebels, who attempted to follow, another volley, which drove 
them back, and, closing up on their colors, marched back in good order to their 
old position on the left of the Third Brigade. 

The affair had lasted perhaps thirty minutes. The color-sergeant was killed 
and all the other guards shot but one, who brought off the regimental flag rid 
dled with bullets. Of the 181 men, who went into action, there were twelve 
killed, sixty-three wounded, and twenty missing. 




Corporal, Co. G, 35th Mass. Infantry. 

Born at Woodstock, Oxford Co., Maine, Sept. 30, 1838. 

o VENTURE, for the sake of wounded com 
rades, into a conspicuous and dangerous 
position is the height of soldierly pluck. 
Corporal Frank M. Whitman describes it 

"At the battle of Antietam, General Burn- 
side, commander of the Ninth Corps, was or 
dered to take and hold the bridge that crossed 
a stream of water, on the opposite side of 
which the Confederates were in large force 
and well protected by the natural formation 
of the bank. 

"The duty of taking this bridge was given to our brigade by the commander 
of the corps. The fight was a fierce one, but was soon won by our forces. We 
then advanced in line of battle up the hill, driving the enemy before us, until 
we reached a very high stone wall, behind which they made another stand. 
This stone wall ran along the ascending slope of the next hill beyond the one 
over which we were advancing. Our forces steadily went up and over the first 
hill and were part way down the descending slope, when our progress was 
stopped by the terrible fire of the enemy. 

"W^e were obliged to retire. I and a few others were separated from our 
comrades and left behind with the dead and wounded on the field. We fired a 
last volley, receiving one in return which sent death to one of our men. 

" Lying low and carefully watching, I discovered the enemy moving to an 
other part of the field a short distance away. Cautiously I looked around among 
the men, and found that two besides myself were alive and unhurt. Turn which 
way one would, nothing could be seen or heard but the dead, the dying and the 
wounded, and the suppressed moans and cries of agony from all directions; here 
and there cries for a cooling drink of water, or a call for assistance and a help 
ing hand. Mangled bodies of brave men, wherever one turned! A ghastly scene, 
that will ever be before my eyes! 

"We three undertook to relieve the suffering as far as we could and to get 
the wounded away from the place. This work we continued for several hours, 
after which we set out to find the regiment. On regaining our lines, at my 
urgent solicitation, two officers and a number of men were sent with me to re 
move as many wounded as possible without drawing the fire of the enemy. 

"On returning to the field, we found that the enemy had advanced his picket 
line some distance beyond his own line, and well up to that of ours. Because 
of this advance our picket would not allow us to go outside of the lines, but 1 
pleaded with him so earnestly, that I was permitted to make the attempt to 
get a wounded comrade of my own company. This was a very delicate task, 
for had I attracted the attention of the enemy, an engagement would, without 



doubt, have been precipitated. Stealthily, however, I worked my way to where 
my comrade lay, within a few feet of the enemy s pickets, and told him in a 
whisper what I could do for him with his co-operation. My friend, though suf 
fering great pain from a wound in the leg that caused his death three weeks 
afterward, mutely and thankfully took up the journey to our lines, which, though 
near, seemed yet so far away. With great difficulty the task was accom 
plished, and we got within the lines, unobserved by the enemy, or at least 
without drawing their fire. The two officers and other men were able to 
remove quite a number of our wounded to a place where they could receive 
medical care. 


" The morning dawned sad and dreary through the falling rain. Company G 
was astir early, and counting its members, I saw only eight present, with myself 
the sole surviving company officer. All commissioned and non-commissioned officers 
who had been in action, except myself, were gone. Nine were killed and 
thirty-five wounded." 
In a later engagement the brave corporal was shot and lost his right leg. 


THE usually brief and indifferent official 
record grows more eloquent when it 
refers to Sergeant William H. Paul and his 
inspiring behavior on the field of battle. 
The sergeant himself, modest as well as 
brave, tells the following: 

"During the battle of Antietam, our 
corps was being vigorously attacked in a 
wooded and hilly part of the country, 
where our forces could not very well cope 
with an enemy accustomed to bush fight 
ing. Nevertheless, in a hard and deadly 
struggle we were slowly but surely driv 
ing the enemy back, when Color-Sergeant 
Mason, who was in advance of our lines some 
four or five yards, cheering us on, was shot. 

" A rebel detachment immediately rushed forward to capture the fallen 
colors. Seeing this, I placed myself at the head of a few men, probably ten in 
number, and charged out to meet the enemy, and if possible rescue the 
colors. We clashed with a shock, and a sharp hand-to-hand fight ensued in 
which two of our men were killed and five so severely wounded, that they 
were unable to be of any assistance. 

"A rebel had already seized the colors, but I grasped them and with one 
supreme effort wrenched the precious banner from his hold. Waving it high 
above my head, I carried it throughout the remainder of the battle. In the 
melee my comrades managed to kill one of the enemy and capture another. 

"I afterwards carried the flag in all the battles in which our regiment par 
ticipated, until after the battle of Gettysburg, when I was relieved from further 
duty as color-bearer, because of a wound received during that battle." 


Sergeant, Co. E, 90th Pa. Infantry. 

Born at Philadelphia, Pa., Oct. 3, 1844. 



AN INCIDENT during the battle of Antietam made 
a hero of Corporal Ignatz dresser of the One 
hundred and twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Infantry 
and saved the life of a brave Union soldier from 
an almost certain death. In the heat of the 
struggle, when the telling fire of both armies 
brought havoc to Union and Confederate ranks, 
Gresser saw one of his comrades drop to the 
ground, struck by the enemy s bullet. To leave 
him where he had fallen, meant death, almost 
inevitable; but to get at his side and carry him off, was equally as dan 
gerous. Gresser placed the life of his wounded comrade above his own and 
undertook the perilous task. He succeeded in carrying on his strong arms the 
wounded man to the rear, miraculously escaping the deadly hail of balls and 
bullets. Thus it was, that Corporal Gresser earned his medal. 


Corporal, Co. D, 128th Pa. Infantry. 
Born in Germany. 



WHEN the Union troops fell back across the Potomac, at Shepherdstown Ford, 
Va., on the 20th of September, 1862, they had to leave a number of fieldpieces 
to the advancing Confederates. The enemy, however, gained nothing by their 
capture, as almost every gun had been spiked. As the Second U. S. Infantry 
was retiring an officer of the regiment presently remembered that one large 
gun had been overlooked and left unspiked. 

"Who is willing to go and spike that gun?" he inquired. 

First Sergeant Daniel W. Burke of Company B, at once offered his services. 
The fire from the enemy was severe, but nothing daunted, he started out on 
his perilous task and boldly attempted to unfit this gun for further service. 
After repeated attempts to fulfill his mission, he saw that the task was impos 
sible of accomplishment, and reluctantly returned to his own lines, which he 
reached in safety. He was thereupon complimented by his superior officers for 
his display of coolness and courage. 





1st Lieutenant, llth Ohio Artillery. 
Highest rank attained: Lieutenant-Colonel. 
Born in Delaware Co., N. Y., March 10, 1832. 

T IUKA the Eleventh Ohio Battery under my 

command made a most desperate fight, 
which was not only returned full measure, 
pressed down and overflowing, but in 
which it lost, in killed and wounded, 
over 52 per cent of its entire force and 
over 88 per cent of its combatants or 
cannoneers or forty-eight out of fifty- 
four men. 

" The part taken by this battery in 
the field was in violation of orders. 
When w r e reached a point just south of 
its battle ground which was done un 
der pretty heavy fire from the enemy s artillery and infantry I was ordered 
to form in battery at a point designated, and await further orders. These 
orders never came, but the enemy did. in force, sneaking up with their pieces at 
charge bayonets/ in plain view and at easy canister range. Though just then there 
was a comparative lull in the enemy s firing, their bullets were s-s-z-z-z-ipping 
among the battery with very uncomfortable frequency, and occasionally winging a 
two or four-footed victim. On the charging masses came, 150 or 200 yards. Still the 
battery was waiting further orders/ every man at his post, toeing the mark, 
with everything ready under fire. 

" Of course, this wait was not actually long, though it seemed longer than 
the whole fight. Naturally, the boys grew uneasy, and chafed from seeing such 
splendid chances for the most beautiful spot-shot going to waste, and gave ex 
pression to views on the conduct of the war accordingly. 

I uka. The battle of luka was fought on the 19th of September, 1862. General Grant, commanding 
the Union forces entrenched at Corinth on the Tennessee River, sent General Rosecrans with 20,000 men to 
Rienzi, and General Ord with another body of troops to luka. This plan, if successful, would have caught 
the rebels in a triangle. General Price, who led the Confederate troops, evaded the trap and crossed the 
country diagonally toward luka. Rosecrans followed in close pursuit and overtook the rear guard at luka. 
That night the hostile armies camped in sight of each other and clashed at daybreak. General Hamilton 
held the Federal right, Rosecrans commanded the center, and General Stanley the left. The battle lasted 
until noon. The telling fire of the Federal artillery decided the day in favor of the Union cause. The 
rebels were routed and escaped with a loss of 300 prisoners and 500 killed and wounded. The Federal loss 
was 350 killed and wounded. 


"For example, one sergeant said: 

" By God, I guess we re going to let them gobble the whole damned shooting 
match before we strike a lick, if we don t mind and quickly too. 

"A corporal replied: I guess we are obeying orders. 

"Damn the orders! To wait for orders in a time like this! the sergeant re 

" This dialogue struck a responsive chord in my mind, and was, perhaps, the 
last straw that moved me to take a chance and shoulder the responsibility. I 


gave the order: With canister, load, aim low. and give them hell as fast as 
you can ! And so the fight was on. 

" Before the end it became evident that the position of the guns of this bat 
tery had become so much the bone of contention in that fight, that everything 
else, both flags, the Union and the Confederacy, and even the damned nigger 
were forgotten in that all-absorbing, handspike and ramrod, rough-and-tumble, 
devil-take-the-hindmost fight for those six guns. 

" I was wounded, and after the battle was ordered home to Ohio for repairs. 

In recalling the fight, Lieutenant Cyrus Sears quotes the following from the 
report of General Rosecrans: 

"The enemy s line of infantry now moved forward on the battery, coming 
up from the woods on our right on the Fifth Iowa, while a brigade showed it 
self on our left and attempted to cross the road toward Colonel Puiczel. The 


battle became furious. Our battery poured a deadly fire upon the enemy s col 
umn advancing up the road, while musketry concentrated upon it soon killed or 
wounded most of the horses. When within one hundred yards they received a 
volley from our entire line. The enemy penetrated the battery, were repulsed; 
again returned, were again repulsed, and finally bore down upon it with a col 
umn of three regiments, this time carrying the battery. 

"Many of the cannoneers were knocked out with ramrods and handspikes 
in the hands of the batterymen. Sands Eleventh Ohio Battery, under Lieuten 
ant Sears, was served with unequaled bravery under circumstances of danger 
and exposure such as rarely, perhaps never, have fallen to the lot of a single 
battery during the war." 




Private, Co. G, 2d Ohio Infantry. 
Born at Steubenville, Ohio, Feb. 24, 1845. 

IT SEEMS strange and paradoxical even that war 
with the horrors of the battlefield should serve 
to bring out the highest virtues and noblest im 
pulses of mankind. The same cannon ball that 
carries death and injury, that destroys many a hope 
ful life, arouses at the same time along its swift 
and fatal course an increased feeling of patriotism, 
awakens bravery and incites men to the most bril 
liant deeds of heroism. Amidst the roar of guns 
and the hail of bullets sentiments of the most ten 
der kind are born. Love, friendship, and sacrifice 
have found their most fervent manifestations on the 

battlefield. The love and admiration that a soldier, a mere youth, bore toward 
his commander forms a highly touching incident of the war. The scene was at 
the battle of Perry ville, Ky, October 8, 1862, the heroes were Private W. G. 
Surles and Colonel Anson G. McCook. 

Colonel McCook, commanding the Second Ohio Infantry had attacked the 
rebel infantry under General Bragg. The Confederates outnumbered the Union 
forces almost three to one, but, with noteworthy skill and bravery, the latter in 
flicted severe losses on the enemy, and retreated in good order. 

"Although General Buell with a large force was within sound of our guns" 
Private Surles says, " he did not come to our assistance and we were forced to 
fall back. During the retreat Colonel McCook s horse was shot from under him. 


Arming himself with a musket taken from a dead soldier, he fought on foot and 
by his own gallant example, cheered the drooping spirits of his men. The 
ground we traversed was thickly strewn with the dead and, wounded of our own 
army and presented a ghastly picture. 

" We observed with horror that our pursuers, with the cruelty of barbarians, 
were plunging their bayonets into the prostrate forms of many of our comrades. 
Colonel McCook himself noticed one of the ghouls, just about to extinguish the 


life of one of our boys with his bayonet. The colonel halted, fired his musket 
and dropped the fellow, before he could accomplish his dastardly deed. 

"The death of the rebel made the enemy still more furious. A Confederate 
soldier, a veritable giant in appearance, presently sprang from behind a tree 
close by and took deliberate aim at the colonel. I had observed this fellow s 
movements and realized the great danger of my beloved commander. How I 
wished I could with a well-directed shot, end this Johnny s life. But like the 
colonel himself I had just fired my musket and did not have time to intercept 
the shot. My blood froze in my veins as I saw the rebel raise his gun and take 


aim at our brave leader. Presently, on the spur of the moment and moved by 
the love and admiration I felt toward our commander I sprang directly in front 
of Colonel McCook, ready to receive the bullet, which was to strike him. 

"Happily the rebel giant was a little too slow in firing or hesitated to make 
sure of his shot ; anyway, before he pulled the trigger, he himself was shot through 
the head and rolled on the ground to die within a few seconds. One of the 
crack shots of our company had frustrated his plans. 

" All of this happened, while shot and shell were flying around us like hail, 
and within less time than it takes to tell it. I should not forget to mention 
the conclusion of the episode, for it made me the happiest man in our regiment 
and has ever been one of the proudest moments of my life. 

"When Colonel McCook saw his would-be assassin fall, he took me in his 
arms and with tears in his eyes kissed me as a father would his son. 

" We all " Private Surles ends his narration " fairly idolized our commander 
and I m sure, every one in our regiment would have willingly sacrificed his life 
as I was willing to do. I suppose, the fact, that at the time I was a mere boy, 
weighing less than 100 pounds and of almost girlish appearance, while the rebel 
was such a big, burly man, made the incident a trifle more prominent, than it, 
perhaps, otherwise would have been." 

Private Surles served with his regiment throughout the war. At the battle 
of Chickamauga he and an older brother were fighting side by side. Both were 
giving a good account of themselves and paying back the enemy shot for shot, 
when the older brother was struck by a bullet, fell and died before William 
could grasp him in his arms or bid him a last farewell. 

In addition to these two battles Private Surles fought with great distinction 
in some of the bloodiest battles of the war. 

Perryville (or Chaplin Hills), Ky. In the latter part of 1862, a formidable Confederate force 
under Generals Bragg and Kirby Smith invaded Kentucky. This invasion not only threatened the perma 
nent occupation of the State, but also exposed the States north of the Ohio River to invasion. Learning 
that Louisville was to be General Bragg s objective point, General Buell left a sufficient force to protect 
Nashville, Tenn., which he occupied, and put his army in march for Kentucky, reaching Louisville on the 
25th of September, 1862, ahead of Bragg s army. 

On the 1st of October General Buell marched his army in three corps to Bardstown, but the enemy s 
infantry had retired from that place eight hours before the arrival of the Union forces. After a sharp 
engagement with the enemy s rear guard of cavalry and artillery, the pursuit was continued toward Spring 
field. Upon discovering that the enemy would concentrate for battle at Perryville, General Buell moved 
his army to that place ; the center (third) corps, under General Rousseau, arriving on the afternoon of the 7th 
when the battle commenced, and lasted till nightfall. The engagement which terminated at night the 
previous day, was renewed on the morning of the 8th, the First, Second and Third Corps participating. 

The rebels were repulsed with a loss of 2,500 killed and wounded and 4,500 missing. The loss sustained 
by the Federals was 3,859 killed and wounded and 489 missing. 






Color-Sergeant, 8th N. H. Vol. Infantry. 
Born in Ireland, June 24, 1844. 

UR brigade left Donaldsonville on the 26th of 
October, 1862, under command of General God 
frey Weitzel," writes Sergeant J. J. Nolan. "After a 
march of about four or five miles our advance guard 
had a running fight with the Confederates, which lasted 
all day. 

"Next morning General Weitzel, seeing a number 
of Confederates on the right bank of the Bayou La- 
fourche, decided to throw our regiment (the Eighth 
New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry) across it and pick 
all we could of them. After crossing the Bayou we advanced about two miles, 
when we discovered quite a force of Confederate cavalry in front of us. 

" Colonel Hawks Fearing, of the Eighth New Hampshire, formed the regiment 
into a hollow square to resist the cavalry, which was in close pursuit. When 
we came to an open field the colonel deployed the regiment from square to 
line of battle. The Confederates formed in line on a road which ran along 
the woods to the right of the Bayou. 

"By this time General Weitzel discovered that, during the night, General 
Mouton had crossed with his whole brigade from the left to the right of the 
Bayou, at the same time giving orders to make a pontoon of the boats that he 
had towed up from Donaldsonville, in order to get re-enforcements to our as 
sistance. He then ordered our regiment to advance, which we did, and after 
throwing down the last fence between the Confederates and ourselves, the 
colonel ordered us to charge the enemy. After advancing about half way 
through the field, the flag staff was shot in two in my hands. I picked up the 
several pieces and advanced shouting: Come on and chase that battery! 

The Lafourche District, La. During the latter part of October, 1862, an expedition was or 
ganized, which consisted of a brigade (five regiments of infantry, two batteries of artillery, and four 
companies of cavalry) under command of Brigadier-General Godfrey Weitzel, and a fleet of gun-boats, 
to move upon the western bank of the Mississippi through Western Louisiana, for the purpose of dispers 
ing the forces assembled there under General Mouton. 

The expedition arrived at Donaldsonville, La., on the 25th of October, and entered it without op 
position. Thence the expedition proceeded to Bayou Lafourche, Thibodeaux, Berwick Bay, Boutte Sta 
tion, Bayou des Allemands, etc., all of which places were entered. Valuable stores, freight cars, guns, 
and accoutrements, along with many prisoners were captured. The expedition proved a perfect success 
and gave undisputed possession of the Lafourche District to the Union Troops. 



"Our hard 
fight was 
with suc 
cess. We 
took about 
200 pris 
oners, one 
piece of ar 
tillery, and 
routed the 
whole Confederate 

"After the battle 

the colonel formed line, took the colors out of my hands, and called for three 
cheers for the color-bearer, and General Weitzel rode up and thanked me in 
the presence of the regiment." 

Colonel 0. W. Lull under date of November 16, 1862, furnishes a few more 
details of the incident, which Sergeant Nolan, who relates the above story, omits. 
The colonel writes : " Young Nolan was as fine and brave an Irish lad as ever 
shouldered a gun in the Union Army. At the fight at Georgia Landing he was 
the color-bearer and moved up and looked straight into the muzzles of the enemy s 
artillery, as steady and cool as Marshall Ney ever faced a battery. When his 
colors, struck by a cannon shot, fell forward on the ground, our young friend 
threw himself prostrate on his face and gathered the colors in his outstretched 
arms. Two or three of his own company also sprang for the flag, but young 
Nolan held on to his treasure, and with a No you don t arose, moved on and 
flaunted the Stars and Stripes where grape and canister fell as thick as hail 
stones in a northern storm." 





Lieut-Colonel, 37th Illinois Infantry. 

Highest rank attained : Brevet Brig-Gen., U.S.V. 

Born at Lexington, Miss., Jan. 27, 1839. 

E Thirty-seventh Illinois Infantry, 

commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel 
John C. Black, participated in the battle 
of Prairie Grove, Ark., on the 7th of De 
cember, 1862. Its position was on the 
extreme right, supporting Captain Mur 
phy s Battery (F. First Missouri Light 
Artillery). After some manoeuvring the 
regiment came to a halt, the men were 
ordered to lie down and being exhausted 
from marching sixty-six miles in thirty- 
six hours, most of them fell asleep almost 
immediately. Firing, however, by the 
artillery on both sides, commenced with 
in five minutes after the halt was made 
and was kept up for an hour. 

The action from this point on is best told in Colonel Black s own words: 
At the end of an hour we were ordered to advance into the open field. A cheer 
was given and we moved out a short distance, and remained stationary for some 
fifteen minutes, when I was ordered by Colonel Huston, commanding the Second 
Division, to advance the regiment down the slope to the support of the batteries 
of the Third Division. Scarcely had this position been reached, before Colonel 
Huston again ordered our advance against the hill, on which the center of the 
enemy was posted in unknown strength, and from which two regiments had 
first been driven with heavy loss. Throwing out Company A on the right and 
Company I on the right and left, as skirmishers, I ordered a charge up the hill. 
It was executed in fine style, the men advancing steadily and swiftly up to the 
edge The firing of the skirmishers in front announced the enemy close at 
hand. Clearing the edge, we stood face to face with them, their numbers over 
whelming, one column moving by left-oblique upon our left and the right of 
the Twenty-sixth Indiana, another moving directly upon our right. They moved 
in column en masse, with guns at a ready. The firing began first upon the left 
and in a few minutes was general along the line. But, pressed by overwhelm 
ing numbers, the right of the Twenty-sixth gave way after most gallantly con 
testing the ground. My skirmishers about the same time reported the enemy s 
artillery posted on our right. Thus overwhelmed, the only hope from annihila 
tion was the bayonet or retreat. The bayonet could not be used; directly in 


front of us was a rail fence, and it could not have been passed and we re 
formed before the enemy would have been upon us; so, reluctantly, I ordered a 
retreat. Not a man had moved from his post till that order. Falling back 
some 300 yards, they reformed in the rear of our batteries. 

"In this charge and retreat I was too seriously wounded to retain the com 
mand, and so, turning it over to Major H. N. Frisbie, I left the field, not how 
ever, until the regiment was reformed and had again commenced its fire." 

In his report of the action Colonel Daniel Huston. Jr., who commanded the 
Second Division of the Army of the Frontier, refers to Colonel Black s gallant 
regiment as follows: 

" Finding on my arrival at the foot of the ridge, that the other regiments 
had fallen back so far and were so badly cut up, that it was necessary to give 
them time to reform, I brought up the Twenty-sixth Indiana and the Thirty- 
seventh Illinois at double-quick and ordered them to move up the hill to as 
sault the position of the enemy, strongly posted on the crest of the ridge. 
Throwing out a company of skirmishers from each to cover their front, both 
regiments moved steadily and compactly forward till they reached a point 75 
to 100 yards beyond the crest of the ridge, when the skirmishers commenced 
firing upon the enemy, of whom comparatively few could be seen. Suddenly 
the infantry of the enemy, which had been lying down, concealed by the thick 
brush and leaves, rose up in one overwhelming number and poured in a deadly, 
galling fire, which was withstood and returned by our troops with the coolness 
and firmness of veteran soldiers. The preponderance of numbers on the part 
of the enemy was so great that the infantry was eventually forced to retire in 
some little confusion; but they soon reformed in good order, taking a position 
about 250 yards from the foot of the ridge, which they maintained until the 
close of the action. The two regiments had lost nearly one-third of their 
number in killed and wounded in the desperate assault." 




Major, 2d YV. Va. Cavalry. 

Highest rank attained: Brevet Maj-Gen..U.S.V. 
Born in South Wales, ti. B., May 10, 1825. 

L UR regiment, the Second West Virginia Cav 
alry." relates Major William H. Powell, 
"having as we supposed completed its campaign 
of 1862, was enjoying winter quarters at Camp 
Piatt, in November 1862, on the bank of the 
Kanawha River, about twelve miles above Charles 
ton, S. C.. when, to the surprise and gratification 
of the boys, they were ordered into the saddle 
and en route for Cold Knob Mountain, at which 
point the command was to be re-enforced by the 
Eleventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Colonel P. H. 
Lane commanding. From this point we moved 
against the Fourteenth Virginia Cavalry, then in 
winter quarters, recruiting, occupying two separate 
camps, one in the Sinking Creek Valley, the other 

some two miles west near Williamsburg, both in Greenbriar County, twelve 
miles west of Lewisburg. 

" Leaving the Kanawha River Valley route at Connelton. to avoid suspicion 
as to the objective point of operation, the column proceeded via the old road to 
Lewisburg, passing through Summerville, where the command arrived the same 
evening, having traveled sixty miles that day over rough mountain roads. 

"Next morning we pushed forward as rapidly as possible through a blinding 
snowstorm, the snow being a foot deep on the ground. About noon, while ac 
companying the advance guard, composed of a lieutenant and eight men, I en 
countered a squad of rebel scouts consisting also of a lieutenant and eight men. 
We took them evidently by surprise, and, at the first sight of us. disregarding 
my polite invitation to halt, they ran into a log cabin but a short distance away 
from the roadside. Observing that the lieutenant had made his escape into the 
woods beyond the cabin, I pushed on after him, ordering my lieutenant and 
guard to surround the cabin. I captured him about a mile away. I have often 
wondered since, why the fellow did not take a position behind a tree, and, with 
good aim, stop my advance upon him. especially when he became convinced 
that I was pursuing him with a determined purpose to run him down. On re 
turning to the cabin I learned that Lieutenant Davidson had captured the entire 
rebel squad, which result proved a very important factor in the final mission of 
the raid, as no one escaped to report the movement of the command. 

"Resuming the march we pressed forward through snow nearly two feet deep, 
arriving at noon of the 26th on the summit of Cold Knob Mountain, where 
we found Colonel Lane awaiting us. 


" After a conference .between Colonels Paxton and Lane, the latter decided 
that the condition of his regiment, caused by exposure to the terrible storm and 
deep snow of the past twenty-four hours, rendered the continuance of the march 
utterly impracticable, and compelled him, in justice to his men and officers, to 
return to their winter quarters at Summerville. 

"Influenced by the action of Colonel Lane, Colonel Paxton submitted to the 
officers of the regiment the question of returning to camp with Colonel Lane 
and the Eleventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry. This proposition met with my de 
cided and unqualified opposition. When General Crook delivered the order to 
make the raid upon the enemy in the Sinking Creek Valley, knowing Paxton s 
failings, and being disposed to throw the mantle of charity over them and allow 
him to accompany the expedition rather than detain him in camp, he had con 
fidentially charged me not to return to camp without good results. Influenced 
by these instructions and the fact that the men in the ranks and many of the 
company commanders were in full accord with my views favoring a forward 
movement, I said to the colonel that I would call for volunteers to accompany 
me in the advance movement upon the enemy s camp. This announcement, 
fully understood by Colonel Paxton, induced him to change his mind. He gave 
me orders, as the major of the regiment, to make a detail and move down the 
mountains as the advance guard. 

" I ordered Lieutenant Jeremiah Davidson and twenty men of Company Gr, to 
accompany me, and immediately moved out in advance of the regiment. Pro 
ceeding about a mile, I met four rebel scouts at a sharp turn of the road. I 
instantly commanded a halt, and seeing that they preferred attempting their 
escape to a surrender, fired and charged upon them, wounding one and capturing 
another. The remaining two made good their escape. 

" From our prisoners I hastily obtained valuable information as to the strength, 
location, and relative position of the two camps. The two scouts who had es 
caped, having seen but a part of our advance guard, concluded, as we afterwards 
learned, that as we did not press them closely down the mountain, we were 
nothing more or less than a squad of Union Home Guards living in the neigh 

"On nearing the foot of the mountain we discovered the two escaped scouts 
in the distance in the valley, moving leisurely towards their camp, the smoke 
of which was perceptible to me. I halted for a moment until they had passed 
out of my view around a point in the turn of the valley. Seeing that the coast 
was clear, and conscious that we had no time to waste, I pushed forward rapidly 
to the point where the scouts had disappeared, reaching it with my little band 
unobserved by the enemy. 

"I could plainly see that they were in a state of innocuous desuetude, un- 
apprised of our proximity, and therefore unprepared to welcome us. Apprecia 
ting the golden opportunity, I decided promptly to charge the camp. Announcing 


the situation and my purpose to my heroic little command of Lieutenant 
Davidson and his twenty men, they answered : 

" We will follow where you lead! 

"Having not a moment to lose, I wheeled my command into line, facing the 
camp, and charged my handful of men on a full run of half a mile down the 
Sinking Creek Valley, into the center of the enemy s camp, 500 strong. We 
were each armed with a saber and a brace of Colt s 54 caliber navy revolvers, 
giving us 220 shots, which we held in reserve to avoid alarming the other camp, 
some two miles away, and to be used only in case of absolute necessity. 

" It was soon made evident that the camp was surprised, and that the 
enemy s firearms were unloaded. During the brief and very exciting hand- 
to-hand encounter which ensued, some few of their number, in their confusion, 
ran up to us grasping us by the legs, and claiming us as their prisoners. To 
such daring and undignified assaults and claims we responded politely by tap 
ping them on the tops of their heads with our revolvers, which we held in our 
hands, felling several of the rudest of them to the ground and causing them to 
loosen their grasp. After thus dealing with them for but a moment, I demanded 
the surrender of the rebels camp, offering the protection of their lives. These 
terms Lieutenant-Colonel John A. Gibson promptly accepted, and surrendered 
the command to me without reservation. 

Thus I captured the camp of the Fourteenth Regiment Virginia Cavalry, 500 
strong, in the Sinking Creek Valley, Va., November 26, 1862, without the loss 
of a life or the firing of a gun or revolver. Colonel Paxton did not reach the 
camp until after the surrender, at which time the other portion of the rebel 
regiment, in camp at William sburg. came over to a point within respectful dis 
tance to look at us. The achievement of the Sinking Creek Valley raid by a 
mere handful of men, at noonday, far into the heart of the enemy s country, 
requiring a continuous forced march in the saddle of thirty-six hours, from the 
Union lines to the enemy s camp, under the most unfavorable conditions of 
weather and roads, is an example of what a few brave, loyal, and determined 
men can accomplish." 



r EXAMPLE of dashing- 
bravery and courage, 
which General Daniel E. 
Sickles designates "a heroic 
act," was furnished by Cor 
poral John G. Palmer and 
Private Wallace A. Beckwith 
of Company F, Twenty-first 
Connecticut Infantry. The 
story is interestingly told 
by Corporal Palmer : 

k At the time of Burn- 
side s great battle of Fred 
ericksburg, I was a boy sev 
enteen years of age and a 
member of Company F, 
Twenty-first Connecticut 

Infantry. We were held in reserve in the streets of the city until the last 
afternoon of the desperate fight. At 4:30 P.M. w^e received a hurry order to go 
to the support of the Second Division. Away we went, glad to take an active 
part, as we had been under fire more or less for two or three days. As soon as 
\ve cleared the streets of the city, we w T ere exposed to a perfect shower of bul 
lets and exploding shells from a general attack which was now taking place all 
along the front. Amidst this terrible fire we formed and moved rapidly towards 
the line of battle, our company marching for two or three blocks through the 


Private, Co. F, 21st Conn. Infantry, 
Born at New London, Conn. 

Corp. Co. F, 21st Conn. Infantry. 
Born at Montville, Conn., Oct. 14, 1845. 

Fredericksburg 1 . In December, 1862, General Burnside, superseding McClellan as commander-in- 
chief of the Union Army, directed an attack against Fredericksburg, Va., on the southern bank of the 
Kappahannock. The town is situated on the steep slopes of one of the three wooded terraces in the nar 
row valley. The battle took place on the second terrace, while on the third the enemy under Lee 
had gathered a force of 90,000 men. 

Burnside, stationed at Falmouth was occupied from December 11 to 13 in building bridges and 
throwing across the river the two divisions of Franklin and Sumner. On the 13th, assaults were made 
by these divisions, which were repulsed with great loss. Hooker, ordered across, had the same experi 
ence. The Union troops were gathered at Fredericksburg and withdrawn across the river. 

Burnside s losses amounted to 13,000 men, while the Confederate loss was not more than a third 
of that number. 


back yards of houses and dwellings. We had a most lively time pulling up and 
scaling numerous fences to keep up with that part of the line which was meet 
ing with less obstructions. We advanced to the scene of operations until the right 
of the regiment reached the railroad at the depot, the line extending to the left 


through some brickkilns. A light battery of four pieces, situated on a low ridge 
in front of the left of the regiment was shelling the enemy, whose fronts were 
near, as fast as they could fire their guns. 

" We were ordered to lie down, which we did in short order, and settled our 
selves into the soft clay of the brickyard, which offered some degree of shelter 
from the iron and lead which were flying so furiously around and dangerously 
near our heads. 

"After a time the fire slackened. Our assault had met with a bloody repulse. 
Manoeuvres were immediately ordered with a view of making one more grand 
final charge and ending the battle. 

"As the attack ceased and the firing had become desultory I raised up on 
my elbows ; the colors of the regiment brushed my face. Pushing the flag aside 


I glanced up and down the line. Our regiment appeared like two rows of dead 
men, every one except the colonel, with his head face down in the mud as low 
as possible. 

"Presently the captain of a battery came running towards our regiment and 
hurriedly saluting the colonel, said: For God s sake, colonel, give me six men, 
quick, who know something about firing a gun. I haven t men enough left to 
work my battery in the coming charge. 

Our colonel faced the colors and repeated the call. Though I was the 
youngest member of the company I had heard and seen enough for several days, 
and especially during the previous hour, to know the seriousness of the situation, 
to realize the probable consequences of the act, and to compare the exposure on 
the knoll with the safety of the shelter of the brickkilns. 

It took but a few moments for me to determine what to do. By the time 
the colonel had pronounced the word men, I stepped from the ranks, closely 
followed by Comrade Beckwith and four others. We had but a few moments to 
look over the field and receive instructions from the sergeant, when the captain, 
reading the signals from the church belfry, gave the order to stand by the guns 
ready for action. 

" The troops that were selected to make the final attack moved forward to 
the charge. 

"Suddenly the enemy opened with every gun and musket that could be 
brought to bear. As we occupied the only rise of ground on our side and were 
the only battery in action on our left, we found that several of the enemy s 
batteries were paying us particular attention and that we had to take their con 
centrated fire. The battle grew more fierce. 

" Twilight came on ; twilight passed to darkness. It was a grand and awe- 
inspiring spectacle one mighty and thundering roar. 

"Around us rained a perfect shower of bullets, which completely riddled a 
board fence in front of the knoll. They struck the guns and splintered the 
spokes of the wheels. Shells exploded constantly over and around us and 
knocked down several of my comrades. Many officers and men were killed, and 
a great number, including several in my own regiment, were wounded in our 
immediate rear. We kept our little battery barking. Our commander said that 
our shells were bursting squarely in the ranks of the enemy, but our army could 
not accomplish the impossible. The heights were too strong with earthworks, 
cannon, and men, and the assault ended the battle for the night. 

"We lived through the entire attack uninjured. Sunday morning the captain 
of the battery thanked us heartily for our services and told us to return to our 
regiment. Our colonel said, as he received us : I am proud of my men. 





2d Lieutenant, Co. I, 19th Mass. Infantry. 

Born at Groveland, Mass., Oct. 6, 1841. 

IWON my medal at the charge upon Marye s 
Heights," writes Lieutenant John G. B. 
Adams. At that time I was second lieuten 
ant of Company I, Nineteenth Massachusetts 
Infantry. At Falmouth, Va., where we were in 
camp, the Third Brigade. Second Division, Sec 
ond Corps, received orders on the llth of De 
cember, to march to the banks of the Rappa- 
hannock. where we found an engineer company 
endeavoring to lay a pontoon bridge across the 
river. Our enemy, Barksdale s Mississippi Bri 
gade, in the rifle-pits and houses of Fredericks- 
burg on the opposite shore, had prevented our 
men from completing their work. After sev 
eral fruitless attempts to continue, the bridge was abandoned, and volunteers 
were called for to cross in boats. My regiment and the Seventh Michigan re 
sponded to the call and undertook the task. History tells of the hard fight 
we had, trying to take the position of the rebels. Many a brave life was lost 
while crossing the river, and during the subsequent severe fight clearing the city. 
"But these were only part of the hardships which we were to undergo at 
this place. On the 13th we were ordered up with the rest of the army to charge 
Marye s Heights, our regiment being on the extreme right. Shots from the bat 
teries ploughed through our ranks as we pressed forward through the streets 
towards the enemy. Under a steep bank, not far from the rebel works, we took 
position until the order was given to move forward. The terrible havoc which 
took place after we had advanced over the embankment will surely stay in the 
mind of every participant to his last day. As fast as the colors came in sight, 
the color-bearer fell, and, in less than no time, eight were killed or wounded. 
The color-sergeant fell and Lieutenant Edgar W. Newcomb grasped the national 
flag. A moment later he, too, shared the fate of the sergeant. As he went 
down, I snatched the colors. It seemed as if I grasped for death, expecting 
every moment to be my last. 

" Almost at the same instant the bearer of the state colors at my side was shot 
and, directed by a sudden instinct. I also took possession of our state emblem. 
Realizing that it would be sure death, and probably the loss of both colors, if we 
remained where I was, I rushed across the field to a fence at the left, my men 


following. Here the regiment was reformed, we changed front, and, by lying 
close to the ground, had a good opportunity to respond effectively to the fire of 
the rebel sharpshooters. 

The Nineteenth Massachusetts lost more than half of the men engaged and 
was finally obliged to retreat across the river and return to camp at Falmouth." 



THE Twenty-first Massachusetts Infantry crossed the Rappahannock at Freder- 
icksburg on the upper pontoon bridge December 12, and the next morning ad 
vanced on the enemy s works. The Second Brigade moved forward most gallantly 
in double line of battle, across a plain swept by a destructive fire of the enemy. 
Colonel W. S. Clark, of the Twenty-first Massachusetts, says in his report : 

" When about sixty rods from the city, Color-Sergeant Collins of Company A, 
was shot, and fell to the ground. Sergeant Thomas Plunkett of Company E, 


seized the colors and carried them proudly forward to the farthest point reached 
by our troops during the battle. When the regiment had commenced the de 
livery of its fire, about forty rods from the position of the rebel infantry, a shell 
was thrown with fatal accuracy at the flag. 

"Both arms of the brave Plunkett were shot off and literally carried away, 
and once more the colors, wet with the bearer s blood, were brought to the 
ground. Color-Corporal Olney of Company H, immediately raised the flag and 
defiantly bore it through the remainder of the day. Color-Corporal Barr of 
Company C, who carried the state colors, was shot, and his post of honor and 
danger quickly taken by Color-Corporal Wheeler of Company I. Color-Corporal 
Miller was also wounded." 

Plunkett survived his injuries and was awarded the Medal of Honor. 


x- -*- 













IN THE ofticial report, upon which the Medal 
of Honor was awarded to Colonel Charles 
H. F. Collis, it is stated that at the battle of 
Fredericksburg General John C. Robinson, who 
commanded a brigade, was thrown off his horse, 
which was killed by a solid shot. Lying on 
the ground the general called out to Colonel 
Collis : " Pitch in, pitch in, colonel ! " 

Here is the story of how Colonel Collis exe 
cuted the order and " pitched in." He was com 
manding the One hundred and fourteenth Penn 
sylvania Volunteers, called the Collis Zouaves, 
and was attached to the First Brigade, First 
Division, Third Corps, which was commanded by General John C. Robinson. 

The brigade was brought into action at the critical moment when the Penn 
sylvania reserves, commanded by General George G. Meade, had been repulsed 
and were being driven back towards the Rappahannock River. The enemy s in 
fantry were pursuing the reserves, while the rebel batteries on the ridge were 
keeping up a terrific fire of solid shot and shell. Randolph s and Livingston s 
Batteries on the Union side were doing their utmost to protect the retreating 
Federal soldiers, but the enemy had reached Randolph and were about to take 

Colonel, 114th Pa. Infantry. 

Highest rank attained: Brevet Maj-Gen.,U.S.V. 
Born in Ireland, Feb. 4, 1838. 


possession of his guns, when Robinson s Brigade, led by the Collis Zouaves, came 
up on the field at double-quick time, in column formation. General Robinson s 
horse was disemboweled by a solid shot; his adjutant-general was severely 
wounded, and his bugler killed, while they were all riding at the head of the 
column. This caused a momentary check to the advance of the Zouaves, who 
were now engaged in their first fight, though some of the officers, including 
Colonel Collis, had seen previous service. It was a moment of supreme impor 
tance to the Union Army. If the enemy had secured Randolph s and Living 
ston s Batteries, and turned them upon the Union ranks, the left flank of the 


Army of the Potomac would have been doubled up, and serious disaster would 
have been imminent. Colonel Collis, though a young man, only twenty-four 
years of age, quickly took in the situation, and seizing the colors of his regiment 
from the color-sergeant, galloped with them to the front, deploying his regiment 
into line of battle at the same time, and attacking the advancing foe with the 
bayonet. The charge of the Zouaves was not only brilliant, but picturesque, as 
they were uniformed in scarlet and blue, their heads being decorated with the 
red fez and white turban of the French Zouaves d Afrique. 


They came into collision with the enemy in the midst of the guns of Ran 
dolph s Battery, but their advance was so impetuous as to be irresistible and the 
enemy fell back in great confusion, leaving one entire regiment on the field, 
which was captured by the Zouaves. Robinson s Brigade held the position thus 
secured until the entire army retired two days later. 




OR distinguished bravery, coolness in 
action, soldierly conduct and conspicu- 

Private Co. D, 2d Wis. Infantry. 
Born in Norway, March 25, 1S42. 

ous gallantry at the battles of Antietam and 
Fredericksburg." This is the inscription on 
Private John Johnson s medal. The gallant sol 
dier s narration follows : 

"I enlisted in the Second Wisconsin Infantry, 
but was on detached service in Captain Gibbon s 
Light Battery, B, Fourth U. S. Artillery. 

"At the battle of Antietam the enemy opened 
fire at break of day, from a battery on a knoll, 
about halfway between the turnpike and the east 
wood. Shot and shell whistled over us but we 
returned the fire and soon silenced the enemy s 
guns. Lieutenant Stewart, who commanded the right section of Battery B was 
ordered to take his section, to which I belonged, and proceed with Gibbon s 
Brigade. He formed in front of Dr. Miller s, barnyard on the right, west side of 
the pike looking south on a little ridge, close to some buildings and within 
thirty or forty yards of a fence separating the cornfield from the pasture ground. 
The cornfield was full of the enemy s skirmishers and sharpshooters. It was 
here that Stonewall Jackson s troops made three desperate charges to capture 
the battery at the point of the bayonet, and the last time came within a few 
rods of our guns before we could stop them. The infantry of General Gibbon 
and General Patrick s Brigade rallied to its support with equal resolution, the 
result being as fierce and murderous a combat as ever surged about a six-gun 
battery. Battery B was the very vortex of the fight. General John Gibbon 
came up to one of the guns, straddled the trail, sighted the gun, and exclaimed: 
Give them hell, boys! 


Stewart s section in this position had three men killed and eleven wounded 
in a few moments. Among the wounded was Sergeant Joe Herzog, who with 
myself had hold of the handspike of the gun s trail and was trying to change 
the position of the gun, when he was shot through the lower part of the ab 
domen. Knowing that the wound was fatal and being in great agony, poor Joe 
deliberately drew his revolver and shot himself through the right temple. I 
was a cannoneer during the whole time the section and battery were engaged. 
We were firing double canister. During this time I filled different positions at 
the piece, including gunner. The cannoneers had been killed and wounded so 
rapidly that those remaining had to fill their places as best they could. By this 
time the other four guns of the battery had come up and commenced firing. 
This terrific contest resulted in the battery driving the enemy s infantry out 
of their cover. Our casualties in this action were forty killed and wounded. 
At my piece there were but t\vo cannoneers left, myself and one other. As 
near as I can remember, we fired from ten to fifteen rounds of canister, 
brought to us by teamsters of the extra caissons, after the other cannoneers had 
been killed or wounded. The battery limbered up and hauled off without the 
loss of a single gun or caisson. Some of the guns had only two horses left, and 
the battery went into action again on another part of the field during the day. 

"Again, at the battle of Fredericksburg I was a cannoneer in the right section 
(Stewart s), and filled the different positions at the gun, of cannoneers who had 
been killed or wounded. While carrying tw r o case shots to the gun, having cut 
the fuse of one and made it ready to be inserted, I was wounded by a piece of 
shell, which carried away my right arm at the shoulder, with a portion of the 
clavicle and scapula. So much of the shoulder was carried away that the cav 
ity of the body was exposed, and the tissue of the lungs made plainly visible. 
It has been said by comrades who were at that gun as cannoneers that I in 
serted the shell into the gun after my arm was torn off, before I fell. This, 
however. I do not remember. 

This same shell played havoc in the section, killing two men outright. 
Bartly Fagen of the Second Wisconsin, and Patrick Hogan of the regulars, and 
wounding several. It has been said by survivors of this engagement that the 
same shell also tore William Hogarty s left arm off. (See page 77 for Hogarty s 
story.) I served in the same section and at the same gun with him in this 

"Naturally this was my last battle." 





Colonel, 134th Pa. Infantry. 

Highest rank attained : Colonel, U. S. V. 

Born at Diilsburg, York Co., Pa., Sept. 30, 1833. 

HILE Colonel Matthew S. Quay was in com 
mand of the One hundred and thirty-fourth 
Pennsylvania Infantry he contracted typhoid fever 
at Falmouth, Va., opposite Fredericksburg, in the 
latter part of 1862. He was so broken down by the 
disease that his friends urged him to resign his 
commission and go home to recuperate. Colonel 
Quay finally applied for his discharge. General 
Tyler, handing him his papers, told him that he 
regretted his departure, particularly at this time, 
as they expected to go into action very soon. On 
hearing this Colonel Quay refused to accept the papers, and declared his intention 
of waiting for the battle. General Tyler told him, that he would be foolish to 
remain, in his broken state of health, and furthermore, that his discharge had 
been signed and he was a private citizen. The general said that if he went 
into the battle, he could surely not survive it, and all concurred in the advisa 
bility of his going home. Colonel Quay put these kindly suggestions aside with 
an impatient gesture, and said: I ll be in this battle, if 1 have to take a mus 
ket and fight as a private, for I would rather be killed in battle and be called 
a fool, than go home and be called a coward." 

General Tyler, seeing that further argument would be useless, gave in, and 
made him an aide on his staff, in which capacity he fought all day and well 
into the night in the famous battle of Fredericksburg. 



CORPORAL MARTIN SCHUBERT, Company E, Twenty-Sixth New York Infantry, 
writes: I received my first wound at Antietam, September 17, 1862, and 
was sent to the Columbia College Hospital, Washington, D. C., for treatment. 
While there I was given furlough to go home, but, instead of doing so I went 
back to the regiment, and joined it at Brook Station, Va., December 10, 1862. 
We crossed the Rappahannock below Fredericksburg on the night of the 12th, 
and the battle opened about seven o clock next morning. 


"My old wound, not yet healed, still gave me considerable trouble. I went 
into the battle with the regiment, however, against the protests of my colonel 
and captain, who insisted that I should use the furlough. I thought the Govern 
ment needed me on the battlefield rather than at home. 

"Within an hour I received another w T ound, this time in the left side. I still 
carry the bullet. 

"General Burnside knowing of the fact that I had gone into the battle while 
I had a furlough and should have been in the hospital, promised me then and 
there a Medal of Honor, which I received in due time." 


Colonel, 129th Pa. Vol. Infantry. 
Born at Northumberland, Pa., Jan. 23, 1825. 




OLONEL JACOB G. FRICK, with the One 
hundred and twenty-ninth Pennsyl 
vania Infantry took a prominent part 
in the fighting at Fredericksburg. Charge 
after charge had been made on the stone 
wall and other parts of the rebel works, 
each attempt meeting with a bloody re 
pulse. In spite of these repeated failures 
and futile efforts, it was deemed expe 
dient to try a further experiment, and 
Tyler s Brigade of Humphrey s Division 
was chosen for the purpose of carrying 
the stone wall, behind which a heavy 
force of the enemy was strongly en 
trenched. The brigade was formed ready 
for the charge. Before the word was 
given to advance, Generals Hooker, Butterfield, and Humphrey rode up to 
Colonel Frick, who occupied his proper position in the formation in the 
rear of the Ninety-first Pennsylvania Volunteers, on the left of the line, and 
expressed the desire that he should lead the charge with the One hundred and 
twenty-ninth Infantry, informing him: "that he had a most difficult job be 
fore him." 

In conformity with the desire of his superior officers, Colonel Frick moved 
his regiment between the files of the Ninety-first, and, upon orders, led his com- 


mand boldly up to the very base of the stone wall, where the enemy poured 
forth a merciless fire of musketry upon him, aided by the fire from numerous 
batteries posted on Marye s Heights. 

The charge was a signal failure. Flesh and blood could not stand the ter 
rible fire which met them from the stone wall enveloping the whole command 
in a sheet of flame. 

Colonel Frick s Joss was 143 out of the 500 men of the One hundred and 
twenty-ninth taken into action. He himself was hit by pieces of shell in the 
thigh and right ear. A shell from the batteries concentrating their fire on the 
charging column, struck a horse at his side and literally covered him with the flesh 
and blood of the slaughtered animal. At the critical point of this charge the 
color-bearer was shot down, but the colonel quickly seized the colors and took 
the lead. Shortly afterward the flagstaff was shot off in his hands, close to his 
head, and the flag fell drooping over his shoulders. But he steadily advanced, 
leading his men through the terrible fire. 

AT THE battle of Chancellorsville, May 3, 1863, Colonel Frick, with the One 
hundred and twenty-ninth Pennsylvania Infantry, on the right of the bri 
gade, occupied a conspicuous position, and was brought into action in the midst 
of the heaviest fighting. French s Division was on his left, but the nature of the 
ground was such that the colonel felt justified in occupying a more advanced 
position. Having held this position against superior numbers, until many of 
his men had fallen, and long after the troops that covered his right and left 
had retired, he discovered that the enemy had already passed his right flank and 
was gaining his rear. Then he retired in good order to the rear of the batteries, 
which had gotten into position, while his steady musketry held the enemy in 

He had retired none too soon, for the enemy fell upon him, captured his col 
ors arid a few prisoners, including his lieutenant-colonel. Colonel Frick quickly 
rallied his men, and, in a hand-to-hand fight, recaptured comrades and colors and 
brought to his rear as prisoners the very Confederates who had made the dash. 


FIRST LIEUTENANT E. M. WOODWARD relates a most thrilling adventure, of which 
perhaps, the most remarkable feature was his escape uninjured: 
"At Fredericksburg the Pennsylvania Reserves held the left of our line, and 
when we charged the rifle-pits, our brigade struck the left of Archer s and 
passed up the Heights. I saw that the pit was still held by the enemy, and, 
knowing the danger of leaving an armed foe in our rear, I succeeded in halting 



1st Lieutenant, 2d Pa. Reserves. 

Highest rank attained : Major. 

Born at Philadelphia, Pa., March 11, 1838. 

some twenty men, and, with them attacked 
the pit from high ground in the rear, hop 
ing to hold the occupants in position until 
assistance came. In ahout twenty minutes 
the Seventh Reserves advanced, halted some 
three hundred yards in our front, and opened 
fire, their balls passing over the enemy into 
our men. 

"Instantly realizing that we should be 
wiped out if something were not done, I 
sheathed my sword, and. with my hat in 
hand, advanced between the lines to the 
rifle-pits, stopped the fire of my own men 
and that of the enemy, and demanded 
and received the surrender of the Nine 
teenth Georgia regiment. The rebel color- 
bearer attempted to escape up the heights with his flag, but I headed him off 

and captured it. I gave it to Charles Uphorn, who was 

soon afterwards wounded, and it fell into the hands 

of the Seventh Reserves. 

" By this time all but five men of my small party were 

killed or wounded, and, seeing the impossibility of hold 
ing the prisoners with this handful, I crossed the 

rifle-pits, and, with a Confederate on each side, 

advanced towards the Seventh, waving my 

bat and thereby stopping their destructive 

fire. Returning to the rifle-pits, I got the 

Johnnies out, and sent them with their arms 

and accoutrements over to the Seventh. 

They numbered over three hundred, and 

were the only prisoners taken in this battle. 

With the remainder of my men I advanced 

up the Heights and joined the brigade, which 

was soon after crushed out and driven over 

the rifle-pits. During this fight thirteen 

bullets pierced my clothing and hat, but I 

felt that my own men could not kill me 

while I was saving their lives. It was this 

conviction which gave me courage to step 

between the firing lines and stop the 

deadly fusilade." i 







1st Sergeant, Co. G, llth X. H. Infantry. 

Born at Bath, X. H., January 10, 1838. 

T THE battle of Fredericksburg, Va.," 
Sergeant F. H. Goodall writes, both of 
the lieutenants being sick, I was directed by 
Captain George E. Pingree of Company G, 
Eleventh New Hampshire Volunteers to act 
as lieutenant during the engagement, and 
told that the regiment had been ordered to 
advance from Princess Charlotte Street, Fred 
ericksburg (in the lower part of town), to 
attack the Confederates at 1 1 : 30 A. M. We 
were the first regiment of our brigade to 
make the advance, and it was our first real 

"We marched out in the rear of the city, 
under a very heavy fire of shot, shells, and 
musketry, past some brickkilns, filed to the 
right, crossed the Fredericksburg and Richmond Railroad, and went up on a little 
crest or elevation, within twenty- five rods of the famous Stone Wall, at the foot of 
Marye s Heights, facing McLaw s and Cobb s Confederate troops under General 
Longstreet, without any breastworks or protection, commenced firing and so con 
tinued until all of ths ammunition we had was expended sixty rounds to each 
man. Our regiment remained there for six long hours under a galling fire, and 
lost nearly 200 men in killed and wounded. After the battle, there were 620 
dead bodies by actual count picked up on the place immediately at and close 
by the spot where the Eleventh New Hampshire fought. 

"Early in the engagement, William L. Pingree, one of the sergeants of Com 
pany G, Eleventh New Hampshire Volunteers, and a brother of Captain George 
E. Pingree of the same company and regiment, was very badly wounded in the 
head, and Captain Pingree said to me: Orderly, if anything happens to me, will 
you see that my brother Will gets off the field all right? I replied: I will 
do so. 

"Not long after that, a shell burst close by us, killed two men. and knocked 
Captain Pingree over, so that we supposed for some little time that he would 
not regain consciousness. But he revived, although still feeling dazed, and just 
before dark he retired with his company and the regiment to the city, while I 


remained to take his brother off the field as I had promised, and selected Ches 
ter Simons, another sergeant of our company, to assist me. 

"So, when the firing had about ceased and we thought the battle w r as all 
over for that day, we started to take the captain s brother off the field. But 
we had gone only a very short distance before a wild yell broke out on our right 
and immediately the firing began, faster and more furious than at any time 
during the day, and we w T ere right out in the open field back of the city, ex 
posed to the whole of it. It was the last desperate charge of General Meagher s 
Irish Brigade, and the bullets flew like hail; but we managed to escape some 
how and finally got back to camp in the city with the regiment, and with the 
captain s brother, who lived almost three years before he died from the effects 
of his terrible wound." 


ONE of the many acts of daring and pluck 
that occurred during the battle of 
Fredericksburg, is here described by Ser 
geant Philip Petty, the hero of the action : 

In August, 1862, I enlisted as a musi 
cian in the One hundred and thirty-sixth 
Pennsylvania Volunteers, but not long aft 
er my enlistment, I exchanged places with 
a private of Company A, and took his gun. 
I was soon promoted to corporal and ser 
geant, and in the latter capacity was fre 
quently called upon by our captain to 
temporarily fill higher positions. 

"In December, 1862. we found ourselves 

encamped near Bell Plain Landing. Va., and on the morning of the 13th we 
crossed the river below Fredericksburg. on our way to battle. While at a halt 
near the bank of the river, we could plainly see the lines of battle to our right, 
while in front and to our left, for a considerable distance, the ground was cov 
ered with tall grass. We were ordered forward and advanced slowly, when 
suddenly, within a few rods from us, the enemy s line of battle rose from the 
grass and fired a volley into our ranks. We retaliated, lay down, loaded, rose, 
and fired, and continued this operation until we reached the railroad, slowly 


Sergeant. Co. A, 13<Hh Pa. Infantry. 
Born in Tingewick, England, May 17, 1840. 


driving the rebels back. Comrades were falling all around me and, the color- 
sergeant being wounded, the colonel at once called for some one to carry the 
fallen colors. At the time the colonel made this request I was busy taking 
charge of and marching to the rear the Confederates whom we had captured in 
the battle, and as no one else responded, I stepped up and told him 1 would 
pick up the colors, and carried them in the advance until we were repulsed by 
a flank movement of the enemy and were ordered to retreat. 


"I had advanced a little beyond the railroad track with the colors when the 
retreat was ordered, and, as T could not very well retreat with a gun and the 
colors in my hands, I planted the flagstaff in the ground and fired about thirty 
rounds into the rebels, then broke my gun by striking it on the rails, and car 
ried the colors safely off the field. The colonel formed what was left of the 
regiment in a hollow square, and when he told the boys what I had done, they 
gave me three rousing cheers, after which the colonel promoted me to be color- 




Captain, Co. A, 51st Ind. Vol. Infantry. 
Born at North Salem, Ind., Sc]i . i">. ls::ti. 

" A BOUT nine o clock on December 29, 1862." 
/i writes Captain Milton T. Russel, " an 
orderly came quietly along the line of sleeping 
soldiers and in a low tone called my name, and 
said that Colonel Streight wanted to see me. 
I went a short distance with the orderly and 
found the colonel and General Harker stand 
ing by their horses in consultation. They had 
just returned from a reconnoissance. The col 
onel said : Russel. take your Company A, move 
quietly to the front until you come to the river 
(which was about 200 yards in our immediate 

front), wade across, form your company on the south bank, and wait for further 
orders. He explained that General Wood, our division commander, was ordered 
to cross and attack the enemy at that point at daylight the next morning, and 
he wanted to know more about the ford and find whether or not the enemy 
were close down on the bank of the river. This move was necessary in order 
to fully develop the enemy s position. It required but a moment to return to 
my company and form it in line, as the men had rolled up in their blankets 
without removing any of their clothing. It was cold and chilly, and all the men 
were lying on their arms. Without further ceremony the company moved off. 
As we left the regiment, the officers were busy forming the men into line to 
support us. We moved down and crossed the river, wading it with the w T ater 

Stone River. On the 30th of December, 1862, the Confederate General Bragg had concentrated 
his army of 62,000 two miles in front of Murfreesboro, Tenn. 

The position of the Union Army 43,000 strong, under the Reserves, was on the west bank of Stone 
Eiver. The line ranged north and south three or four miles, the left wing touching the river. 

On the 31st Johnson s Union Division was furiously charged and swept away by the enemy s left 
under Bragg, who followed up his advantage by driving off Davis, and rushing upon the next division 
under Sheridan, who retired after an hour s hard fighting, losing 1,630 of his men. 

Eosecrans had massed his artillery on a knoll in the rear, which was assailed by four charges of 
the enemy, who were repulsed with great loss. 

Bragg then brought up Breckenridge with 7,000 fresh men, but his attacks were also unsuccessful. 

On the 1st of January nothing was done. On the 2d, Rosecrans threw a force across the river, 
and, with his artillery on the heights almost destroyed Breckenridge s Division, which was ordered to 
drive him from the river. 

On the 3d Bragg withdrew. His loss was 14,700 men. On the Union side there was a loss of 
11,553. More than a third of our artillery and a large portion of our train were taken. 


in some places up to our hips. Talk about cold water or a cold bath, it was so 
cold that our teeth chattered ! 

"As the company was nearing the opposite shore a terrific volley was fired 
from behind a rail fence not over forty steps in our front. The enemy, being 
on higher ground than we, fired too high, their bullets taking effect in the regi 
ment that was standing in line where we left them on the opposite side of the 
river. There were but two ways out of the trap: one was to recross the river, 
the other was to advance. There was only a second in which to decide which 
horn of the dilem 
ma to take. It 
flashed through 
my mind that 
their guns were 
empty, ours 
loaded. I 
gave the 



command : On right into line, double-quick, charge ; and in less time than it 
takes to tell it, we were over that fence. My boys emptied their guns, fixed 
bayonets, and went at them. The best troops on earth will not stand with 
empty guns and receive cold steel. The Johnnies gave way and Company A, 
Fifty-first Indiana Volunteer Infantry followed right at their heels. Before I 
could bring the men to a halt the rebel line was driven back 400 yards and the 
desired information obtained. Had the charge proved a failure I would have 
been court-martialed for exceeding my orders. As it turned out all right, Uncle 
Sam has conferred this beautiful medal on me, but no captain ever had the 
honor of commanding a braver body of troops than I had in that charge." 





N THE night of December 30, 1862, my regi 
ment, the Fifteenth Indiana, was ordered to 


Chaplain of the 15th Ind. Infantry. 
Born in Wayne Co., Ind., March 6, 1823. 

cross Stone River, at the ford. The command 
was obeyed, but as we advanced up the hill on 
the opposite side, we met the enemy in force, and, 
countermarching, recrossed the river. Here we 
bivouacked. Early the next morning our colonel 
passed along the officers lines and said : Get your 
men up. Our pickets are falling back. The en 
emy is advancing. In a second we were all astir, 
and at the dawn of day the bloody battle of Stone 
River commenced. 

"Our position was between Stone River on 

our left and the railroad and turnpike on our right, and directly in front of 
Breckenridge s Corps. The tiring from the Confederate batteries was terrible 
and very destructive. 

"Colonel G. A. Wood, who commanded our regiment, was ordered to hold our 
position on the left, nearest to the river, at all hazards. Three times he charged 
Jackson s Brigade and three times put the enemy to flight, capturing a greater 
number of prisoners than there were men in our own command when we went 
into battle. But this was accomplished only with a fearful loss of life. Of my 
own regiment every alternate man was either killed or wounded. Though a 
non-combatant, I was with my regiment during the entire battle, comforting the 
dying, carrying off the wounded and caring for them. 

"During the struggle Captain Singleton fell, fatally wounded. I carried him 
to the rear and remained at his side, until he breathed his last. I copied his 
last message and sent it to his friends at home. My own next-door neighbor in 
Westville, Ind., Captain J. N. Forster, dropped mortally wounded into my arms, 
the same ball killing two other brave soldiers. 

" Colonel I. C. B. Surnan, of the Ninth Indiana, was shot twice, one ball sever 
ing the artery in the arm, the other penetrating the body and lodging between 
two ribs, whence I pulled it out. 

"One boot was filled with blood and he was bleeding his life away. I 
dressed his wounds and helped him on his horse and he rode back into the ra 
ging battle. John Long, a private, had one leg shot to pieces. He cut the dan 
gling limb off with his pocketknife and hobbled off using his gun for a crutch, 
until I took him up and carried him to the rear. Calvin Zenner of Company 



G, received a fatal wound. I carried him back. A number of soldiers gathered 
around the dying comrade and I offered a prayer for him. He talked to all of 
us and then said: Now boys, let us all once more sing a song together. And 
he struck up the hymn, B ^ m 

Sing to Me of Heaven. 
Then he said: Good-bye 
boys, I am going home. I 
am mustered out. And he 
closed his eyes and ceased 
to breathe. After night 
fall, when both armies were 
quiet along the front lines, 
L helped to bring the wound 
ed to the general hospital, 
carrying those who could 
not walk on my shoulder 
to the ambulance." 

Chaplain John M. White- 
head who furnishes the fore 
going vivid pen picture from 
the battlefield with all 
horrors, modestly omits 
to mention that he 
helped many hundreds 
of wounded soldiers, 
brought comfort and 
solace to a great 
number of dying and 
preached at many a 
hero s grave. Col 
onel I. C. B. Surnan 
says of him : " I was 
severely wounded at 
the battle of Stone 
River. When Chap 
lain White head gave 
me his assistance, he 
was all besmeared 
with the blood of 
the wounded he had 
cared for. He seemed 
to be an angel 


the wounded, Yankees and Johnnies alike. He thought nothing of the danger 
he was in, caring for the wounded, looking after the dead, directing and assist 
ing their burial. I came in contact with many chaplains during my long serv 
ice in the army and can truthfully state, that Rev. John M. Whitehead was the 
most worthy one that ever came under my notice. In camp, on the march, and 
on the field of battle, especially that of Stone River, his services were per 
formed admirably, and without the hope of reward or promotion." 



Private, Co. E, 19th U. S. Infantry. 

Born at Lancaster, Fairfleld Co., Ohio, 

Dec. 6, 1838. 

PRIVATE JOSEPH R. PRENTICE writes : " It was at the 
battle of Stone River that Major Carpenter was 
killed. We had been ordered to advance on the en 
emy, so we formed up, and, inarching at ease, we left 
the wood which had sheltered us up to that time, and 
started to cross a large, barren field. As soon as we 
emerged from the cover of the wood, the enemy opened 
a terrible fusilade on us, and several of our men were 
killed. The Confederates had a small breastwork or 
shelter on the other side of the clearing among some 
cedar trees, about five hundred yards from the position 
which we occupied. From this shelter they kept up a 
galling fire on our men. Our brigade was in the middle 

of the line of attack, and very soon the rebels slackened their fire on our divi 
sion and concentrated all their energies upon the two wings of our line. 

It was evident that if the flanks were weakened, the enemy could very eas 
ily surround us almost completely and so have us wholly at their mercy. To 
defeat this plan Major Carpenter ordered us to retreat in good order, and, after 
we had about faced, he fell in behind, and proceeded to follow us in the rear. 

" No sooner did the enemy see us retreating, than they opened fire on us 
again. I was in the front rank in the advance, now in the rear in the retreat, 
and could plainly see the aw r ful destruction wrought upon our ranks by the 
death-dealing work of the enemy. Suddenly, above the din and roar of battle, I 
heard our major call out: Scatter and run, boys! and was about to join the 
rest in the rush to a place of safety, when I heard a horse bearing down on me 
like mad. As I ran, I looked around, and saw that it was Major Carpenter s 
horse dashing after us, frenzied by several slight bullet wounds. By yelling at 
him I managed to turn him and head him along our lines. Then I rushed after 


the boys to tell them of the fate of the major, but did not manage to see any 
of the commanding officers until we had retreated about a quarter of a mile. 
Then I gained permission to return and look for him. Back I went at the top 
of my speed, and as soon as I entered the clearing the enemy s sharpshooters 
opened a brisk fire on me. Still 1 was bound to find the major if possible, and, 


knowing about where he fell, rushed to the spot. Bullets ploughed up little 
puffs of dust at my feet and whistled around my head. A short spurt more and 
I was at the place. Glancing round I saw him lying face downward upon the 
dust, and rushed to his assistance. But, poor fellow, he was past need of human 
assistance ! Nevertheless, I picked him up and carried him to the rear, my ears 
filled with the mournful dirge of the bullets that threatened me at every step." 







1st Lieutenant, 18th U. S. Infantry. 

Highest rank attained: Brevet Brig-Gen., N. Y. N. G. 

Bom in Germany. 

THE regular brigade of the Army of the 
Cumberland consisting of battalions from 
the Fifteenth, Sixteenth, Nineteenth, and two 
of the Eighteenth regiments of infantry and 
Battery H, Fifth Artillery, marched early on a 
gray frosty morning, December 31, 1862, from 
Stewart s Creek, where it had bivouacked dur 
ing the night, to the battlefield of Stone 
River or Murfreesboro, Tenn., arriving 
there at about eight o clock. After having 
been drawn up in column for possibly an 
hour the brigade was ordered into the cedars 
to the support of the right wing which was 
obviously being forced back by the enemy. 

The two battalions of the Eighteenth 
formed the left wing, the other three bat 
talion the right wing. The position of the battery was between the battal 
ion of the Sixteenth and the Second Battalion of the Eighteenth, the right and 
left wings. 

The infantry marched into the woods and after a march of about fifteen min 
utes on a wood road, the battalions of the Eighteenth regiment received orders 
to halt which order was executed. 

After some ten minutes or more had elapsed Major Frederick Townsend, com 
manding the detachment of the Eighteenth Infantry consisting of his own. the 
Second and the First Battalions, received orders to return and support the battery 
of the brigade. This order indicated that the battery was to the rear, yet, 
there was a possibility that it might have gone to the front on another road 
and joined the right wing. In order to make sure that this was not the case, 
Major Townsend sent an orderly to the rear to find the battery and Lieutenant 
Frederick Phisterer, his adjutant, volunteered to go to the front, find the remainder 
of the brigade and ascertain whether or not the battery was with it. After a 
gallop of about ten minutes along the wood road, which first lead directly toward 
the approaching enemy and then turned to the right along his front. Lieutenant 
Phisterer came up with the battalion of the Sixteenth Infantry under Major 
Slemmer which was engaged with the enemy and under a heavy fire. From 
the moment that he had come to the turn in the road he had been exposed to 
musketry fire which increased in force as he came nearer the battalion of the 


He reported to Major Slemmer, inquired if the major had seen anything of 
the battery, and received the information that Major Slemmer had not seen any 
thing of it and did not know its whereabouts. 

This showed conclusively that the battery was not in advance as it was 
thought possible to be. Lieutenant Phisterer informed Major Slemmer of the 
orders received by Major Townsend. This was the first intimation Major Slem 
mer had received of any movement since he had struck the enemy, and as there 
was no support on his left and any delay might cause the capture of his bat 
talion, Major Slemmer decided to fall back. 

Lieutenant Phisterer then returned by the road over which he had come un 
der a very uncomfortable fire, and rejoined his battalion, which he found mov 
ing out of the woods into the open field, there to support the brigade battery 
of whose whereabouts the orderly sent by Major Townsend had brought word. 

Lieutenant Phisterer, in voluntarily going to the front and continuing his 
search for the battery in the face of a heavy fire from the enemy until he found 
the left battalion of the right wing of the brigade, imparting to its commanding 
officer the situation and the orders received by the left wing of the brigade, un 
questionably saved that battalion at least and probably another battalion to its 
right from annihilation or capture. The brigade had but barely formed in sup 
port of its battery in the new position of the latter, when the enemy came out 
of the woods and made most determined and repeated efforts to take the bat 
tery, which efforts were, however, sturdily defeated by the latter, its regular sup 
ports, and additional troops formed to the left and right of the brigade; the 
determined assault showing that the strength of the enemy greatly exceeded the 
few hundred men of the right wing of the regular brigade engaging him but 
half an hour before 




1st Sergeant, 8th Vt. Infantry. 

Highest rnnk attained : Captain. 

Born in Jamaica, Vt., May 15, 1840. 

JANUARY 13, 1863, a force of infantry, which in 
cluded the Eighth Vermont Infantry and four 
small gun-boats, under General Godfrey Weitzel, 
attacked an entrenched force of the enemy, sup 
ported by the Cotton, a very formidable ironclad 
gun-boat, at a point on the Bayou Teche, La. The 
object of the expedition was the destruction of the 
ironclad, as she was much more powerful than any 
other of the fleet, and threatened the safety of the 
camps at Brashear City. 


On the morning of the 
second day of the fight, 
General Weitzel asked for 
sixty volunteers from the 
Eighth Vermont, to act 
as sharpshooters. They 
were to be carried on a 
gun-boat as near as pos 
sible to the enemy s iron 
clad, and there landed. to 
steal up near enough to 
pick off the gunners. Cap 
tain H. F. Button of Com 
pany H, volunteered to lead the party 
on this dangerous mission, and was at 
once confronted with the necessity of 
selecting his sixty men from more than 
twice that number, who stepped to the 
front at the call for volunteers. When 
finally selected, the number included 
First Sergeant S. E. Howard of Button s 

The party was carried on the gun-boat 
Diana, to the point where our three gun 
boats were hotly engaged with the enemy, 
where it was found that the Calhoun, the 
largest of our boats, and the flagship, carry 
ing Commodore Buchanan, the commanding 
officer of our fleet, had run hard aground on a 

bar ; that the enemy having foreseen this, had a force in the rifle-pits on the shore 
near by, had killed Commodore Buchanan and many men on the Calhoun, driving 
the survivors from the guns, and were getting boats to board and capture her. 
At this critical moment Button arrived on the Diana, and was eagerly hailed by 
the nearest boat and asked, if he could send a message to Colonel Thomas, com 
manding the Eighth Vermont, which in the meantime had crossed to the west 
side of the Bayou, and was about 500 yards distant, entirely unaware of the 
grave situation of our fleet. 

Sergeant Howard volunteered to carry the message, and received this from 
the naval officer : " Run, for God s sake, and tell Colonel Thomas that if he doesn t 
take those rifle-pits in five minutes, the Calhoun is lost. She is hard aground, 
Buchanan is killed, the men are driven from the guns and the enemy are pre 
paring to board her." 



Discarding all equipments, Howard was put ashore from a small boat and ran 
for his life, drawing a heavy fire from the enemy the moment he mounted the 
bank, but fortunately escaped unhurt, and delivered his message. The regiment 
was already in line of battle, and a moment later was swooping down on the 
doomed rifle-pits like a whirlwind. 

The force in the pits was so busy trying to capture the Calhoun, that they 
neglected to watch their flank and rear, and before they knew what had hap 
pened, as one of the Union men expressed it, "a regiment of Yankees jumped square 
on top of them." The pits were taken in a moment, the Calhoun was saved, 
.and was soon afloat, roaring her defiance. 

Sergeant Howard received his commission as second lieutenant, immediately, 
and the medal which was awarded him later was accompanied by this flattering 
notice from the authorities: To Captain S. E. Howard, for most distinguished 
gallantry at the battle of Bayou Teche, La., January 14, 1863." 



Captain, and A. A. (i., V . S. Vols. 

Highest rank attained: Brevet Brig-Gen., U. S. V. 

Born at Newport, R. I., June 9, 1842. 

ON THE 19th of April, 1863, the en 
emy appeared in heavy force up 
on the line of the Nansemond River, 
Va., planting batteries at a number 
of points, threatening to force a pas 
sage, and compelling a few unarmored 
gun-boats which assisted in the de 
fense, improvised from ferry-boats and 
the like, to shift their position to avoid 
destruction. Some five miles below the 
tow r n the river was narrowed by a 
salient point on the opposite, or the 
enemy s side, known as Hill s Point. 
Here was an old earthwork - - Fort 
Huger erected by the Confederates 
during the first year of the war. They 
occupied this with a battery of five 
guns, and all efforts to dislodge, or 
silence them by the fire of the gun 
boats and artillery from the opposite 
bank proved abortive. One gun-boat 


was almost destroyed, being struck over a hundred times by shot and shell, and the 
others were repulsed. Five small gun-boats above the fort were cut off from 
escape by its fire, and their destruction became a question of only a few days, 
or even hours. 

Such was the state of affairs when General Getty, Captain Hazard Stevens, 


and Lieutenant R. H. Lamson of the Navy, who commanded the gun-boats, rode 
to that part of the line opposite Fort Huger to observe it more closely. 

Captain Stevens and Lieutenant Lamson climbed a tree near by to obtain a 
better view, but the more closely it was scanned, the more formidable and un 
approachable the fort appeared. Finally, Captain Stevens declared, that the 
only w r ay to silence the fort was to cross the river and take it. Lieutenant 
Lamson responded, that he would furnish the boats, if General Getty would fur 
nish the troops, whereupon the gallant fellows hastened to lay the suggestion 
before the general. 


He adopted it at once. As rapidly as possible a detachment of 270 men was 
embarked on one of the gun-boats, at a landing some two miles above the fort. 
General Getty went aboard and accompanied the expedition in person. A can 
vas screen was drawn up all around the deck, effectually concealing the troops. 

The boat steamed rapidly down the stream, followed by the other gun-boats, 
all firing their guns and blowing their w 7 histles. The enemy, observing the 
leader, and supposing that she was about to try to run past the battery, shotted 
guns until she should come abreast, and within fifty yards of the fort as the 
channel ran, all ready to blow her out of the water. 

Just above the work, the vessel was run into the bank, but. glancing on a 
pile, she struck some forty or fifty feet from the shore. At this juncture. Cap 
tain Stevens leaped off the deck of the vessel, calling upon the troops to follow r 
him, and struggled ashore, waist deep in mud and w r ater. He was immediately 
followed by the troops. They waded in, climbed the steep bank, made for the 
fort, and stormed it on the run, though the enemy opened a hot fire of musketry, 
and reversed and fired one of their guns on the attacking party. 

The capture of five guns, nine officers, and one hundred and thirty men, the 
rescue of five gun-boats, and the occupation of a point of vital importance, were 
the results of this achievement, one of the most brilliant of the war, accomplished, 
too, with a loss of only four killed and ten wounded. 



Sergt. Co. H, 2nd Minnesota 


Highest rank attained: Captain. 

Born in Catharangus Co., N. Y., 

Oct. 10th, 1830. 


Private, Co. H, 2nd Minn. 


Born in I.,e Roy Township, Jef 
ferson Co. N. Y., Oct. 2lst, 


Jorp. Co. H, 2nd Minn. 


Born in Jefferson Co., N. Y., 
Oct 21st. 1844. 


A T NOLENSVILLE, TENN., on the 15th of February, 1863, occurred an incident, in 
** which a small body of Union men had an opportunity to call into play all their 
energies and determination against a party of the enemy, more than seven times 
their number. This little squad was composed of sixteen men, of which eight re 
ceived the Medal of Honor after the war. These eight are Joseph Burger, William 
A. Clark, James Flannigan, Milton Hanna, Lovilo H. Holmes, Byron E. Pay, John 
Vale and Samuel Wright, members of the Second Minnesota Infantry. Corporal 
Milton Hanna, one of the members of this little squad, tells the story of the exploit : 

"On Sunday morning, February 15th, 1863, after inspection and before breaking 
ranks, we were ordered to report at regimental headquarters. Here we found Co. C 
of the Ninth Ohio, commanded by the second lieutenant, awaiting us, with First 
Lieutenant H. R. Couse, of Co. C, of the Second Minnesota, who, being the ranking 
officer, had command of both companies. 

" We received orders to go to the front to forage for mules, and started with ten 
teams. We marched south along the turnpike about three miles from camp, on a 
cross-road known as Concord Church Road. Here a colored man informed us that 
just over the hill, about a half mile away, near where the turnpike crossed over, the 
Sixth Alabama Cavalry, 500 strong, had camped the night before. After satisfying 
ourselves that this was true, we turned to the left on the mud road, and went a mile 
east to a farmhouse. 


" At this point Sergeant Holmes received orders from Lieutenant Couse, to take 
fourteen men and four wagons, and go in a southwesterly direction to the foot of 
a hill near where the turnpike crossed over, and where the enemy was supposed to 
be, while he with the rest of the company should keep on east about three miles to 
another farmhouse, to load the other six wagons. We could not understand why 
we were separated, as there was more forage at either place than the ten wagons 
could hold. 

" On reaching the farmhouse, located on a little hill, with a small creek some 
eight or ten rods away, we came to a lane leading from the house, some 500 yards 
in length, running east and west, at the head of which were some barns, cribs, etc., 
arranged in the form of a letter V. The sergeant at once stationed sentinels at 
different points to prevent surprise, and John Vale, who stood at the foot of the hill, 
was soon hailed by a colored man coming on the run, and nearly out of breath, 
yelling : See em ! See em ! 

" The enemy were west of the turnpike, and had passed into the timber where 
we were unable to see them. They aimed to cut us off from our camp and the other 
foraging party. Sergeant Holmes ordered me to go to the cross-road and see what 
they were doing, while he returned to the cribs to prepare for defense. I placed my 
self in a cedar thicket a few rods from where the enemy crossed over the turnpike, 
and could hear them talk and laugh as the horses hoofs pattered over the road. 

" The captain of the rebel cavalry remarked that he would pick up the squad of 
fourteen blue-coats and take them prisoners, as they would not offer fight, but throw 
up their hands and beg for mercy. He would then send them with a small guard, 
over the hill to the reserve. 

" I returned at once and reported, but the enemy had already arrived at the farm. 
They filed into the field following the same course we had taken, spreading out and 
making as large a showing as possible, giving us a chance to count them. They 
numbered 125, all mounted. 

" Holmes saw they were coming to us first, and ordered us to get under covei as 
best we could, and hold our fire until he shot first. 

" We can die ; said he, but we ll never surrender. 

" With these orders we took refuge in the buildings. I took shelter in the lower 
part of the barn, Holmes with two men in the hay-mow, the others in cribs, hog 
pens, and other out-buildings between the house and barn. When the enemy 
reached the head of the lane, they put spurs to their horses, each trying to be first 
to catch a live Yankee. On they came across the creek, yelling : Surrender, you 
damned Yanks ! Moments seemed hours as we sighted our rifles, and waited for 
the signal gun. 

" The advance was less than two rods from us, when three shots from the hay 
mow took down the leading horse, which fell on its rider, and held him down during 
the fight, after which he was taken prisoner. Other shots quickly followed, killing 



eight horses and wounding several men. The others quickly dismounted, and run 
ning back, took shelter behind the fences. During their confusion we had time to 
reload our guns, and as some loaded quicker than others, we kept up a continuous 
fire until the enemy were driven away. 

"When the fight had continued for some time, I noticed a man sitting on his 
horse in a very dignified manner, who, we afterwards learned, was the captain in 
charge of the command. He was out of my range, but I took careful aim and fired. 
As he did not heed my salute, I gave him two more charges of powder and ball. 
Those familiar with the old musket know what this meant at my end of the gun. 
He had occasion to dismount and lead his horse farther back. I yelled that I had to 
do something on account of my shoulder. This, of course, was done in jest, and 
the other boys began yelling and asking why they didn t come and take the damned 
Yanks; if they wanted us. 

" The Confederates finally withdrew, and when the smoke had cleared away, we 
found two dead rebels, several wounded, and ten dead horses. We took three 
prisoners, and three horses who broke from their riders and came to us. Jim 
Flannigan was mounted on one of the captured horses and sent to camp, and Charles 
Krause, on another, was dispatched to the remainder of the company, which was 
nowhere to be seen at that time. 

"We finished loading our wagons, and prepared to return to camp. Our loss was 
Sergeant Holmes, Charles Liscomb and Sam Louden, slightly wounded ; one mule 
killed and a wagon-tongue broken. We had three good horses to return to Uncle 
Sam for the dead mule." 



ON THE advance to Chancellorsville in the latter part of April, 1863, part of the 
Sixth New York Cavalry, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Duncan 
McVicar was detailed to the Twelfth Corps and led the right wing of the army, 
crossing at Kelly s Ford on the Rappahannock on the 29th and the Rapidan River 
at Germania Ford, reaching Chancellorsville in the afternoon of the 30th, when 
orders were received from General Slocum to go to Spottsylvania Court House and 
ascertain the force there. From prisoners taken on the advance Colonel McVicar 
knew that a large body of Confederate cavalry was in front of us, but calling his 
officers to him, repeated the orders to them, and the bugle sounded "forward." 
Passing by a road through the woods, they halted where the crossroad led to 
Spottsylvania Court House. A scouting party was sent to that point and a guard 
sent to the rear. The command dismounted and lay by the roadside, holding their 
horses bridles and, exhausted by continuous work, rested. In a short time the party 


sent to the Court House returned and reported a 
heavy force there, and just then the rear guard was 
fired on and driven in. It was then about dusk; the 
men sprang to their feet, some mounting, others 
leading their horses into an open field in front of 
the road where they formed in line. A bugle 
sounded for a parley, when word was sent for the 
Sixth to surrender, as they were surrounded by 
Fitz Hugh Lee s Brigade. Colonel Me Vicar s response 
was : " Draw sabers and cut your way through to 
our lines." 

The bugle sounded the charge, all hesitated 
for they knew the enemy were massed in the road 
to meet them. The first squadron was commanded 
by Captain W. L. Heermance. After a moment s 
delay he said to his first lieutenant, George W. 
Goler : "George, some one must make the start," and 
gave the order : "By fours from the right, forward, 
charge." They started with a yell, Heermance and 
Goler leading the first set of fours; Colonel Me Vicar on the flank of the leading column. 
As they came from the field into the road Me Vicar was shot and instantly killed. 
Holer s horse was shot and the rider fell with him. Heermance was in the lead and 
alone as they struck the enemy massed in the road, who poured a volley from their car 
bines on the advancing troops. For a moment he was without assistance, and while 
engaged with one of the enemy on his right, another placed a pistol to his side on 
the left and as he wheeled his horse to give a left cut, the man fired and the ball 


Captain, Oth N. Y. Cavalry. 

Highest rank attained : L,ieutenant-Colonel. 

Born in Kinderhook, N. Y., Feb. 33. 1837. 

Chancellorsville, Va. About the middle of April, 1863, General Hooker had massed his troops, an 
effective force of 130,000, in camp on the south side of the Rappahannock, while General Lee with his 60,000 
remained on the north side. On the 30th of April, Hooker marched his corps to the Wilderness, around 
Chancellorsville, where his army encamped, Lee s army being at Fredericksburg, ten miles away on the 
same side of the river. Lee, however, knew nothing of Hooker s movement until noon of the 30th. 

About noon on the 1st of May, Hooker s advance began, the march being by three different roads. 
Sickles corps was held in reserve, to Banks Ford, at which point Hooker ordered a return to Chancel 

On the 2d, Hooker prepared for a defensive battle. Lee sent "Stonewall" Jackson to the attack, he 
driving Howard back to Hooker s center. General Pleasanton with his cavalry and General Sickles corps 
kept Lee back, by skirmishing with Jackson s rear guard. 

After dark Hooker directed Sedgwick to march towards Chancellorsville, but he was already below 
Fredericksburg, fighting to gain the road to Chancellorsville. In the vicinity of Banks Ford he was 
engaged on the 3d with Lee s main army where he fought until dark. He was still contesting his ground 
on the 4th, when Hooker ordered him to retire across the river. 

On the 3d, Lee s army closed in from left to right, assaulting the Union forces and directing their 
artillery fire at the Chancellor House, Hooker s headquarters. It was at this time that Hooker was 
temporarily disabled. The Union troops persistantly held their ground against the repeated assaults, and 
after much hard fighting, Hooker ordered them to retire across the river, yielding the roads to Lee. 

The Union loss was 12,145 and the Confederate, 12,463 


passed through his arm into his stomach, and a blow on the head knocked him from 
his horse. As he fell his men broke through to where he was and he called on them 
"to go on, as he was done for," which they did, driving back the Fifth and Third 
Virginia Cavalry, who came up as reinforcements. The Second Virginia, com 
manded by Colonel Thomas Munford, came in from Todd s Tavern, after the re 
mainder of the Sixth had reached the forks of the road leading to the Union Army 
at Chancellorsville and took prisoners the wounded who had been left behind. 
Colonel Munford told Captain Heermance that the three hundred men of the Sixth 
had held Stuart s Division of cavalry, numbering four regiments, for six hours, pre 
venting him from joining General Lee and cutting off the Union Army line to the 
Rapidan, and so materially changing Lee s plan of attack at Chancellorsville. 
Colonel Heermance was taken to Richmond and Libby Prison, but was soon ex 
changed. He was in over sixty engagements, severely wounded three times, was 
with Kilpatrick and Sheridan on their rides around Richmond, and with four corn- 
companies, after the fight at Yellow Tavern, charged down the Brooks Pike and 
took his troopers inside the first line of works at Richmond, they being the first 
Union troops to enter them. 

Bugler Wells, who afterwards received the Medal of Honor for the capture of a 
flag and its guard at Cedar Creek, was chief bugler and sounded the charge at 
McVicar s order, and was with him when he fell. 


/CORPORAL STEPHEN O NEILL tells an amusing story 
^-^ in connection with the incident at Chancellors 
ville, which earned for him his Medal of Honor. He 
says : 

"Our regiment, the Seventh U. S. Infantry, of 
which I was a corporal, on the night of April 30th, 
camped on a highway near Chancellorsville, Va. The 
enemy was in front of us ; we could hear the bands 
playing. Our pickets were sent out at once and pio 
neers ordered to chop down all the trees, in order to 
obstruct a possible attack from the enemy. By day 
light we were all on the alert, waiting for the next 
command. I sat down to get my hair cut. The 

barber was about half done when the assembly sounded, and we had to fall in. 
Then came the order to double quick to meet the enemy. Line of battle was 
formed on a clearing off the road. We soon met the enemy and were but a short 


Corporal Co. E, Tth U. S. Inf. 

Born in St. John, P. Q., Canada, 


time engaged, when the color-bearer who carried the national flag was mortally 
wounded. I was close at his side when the poor fellow staggered and dropped. 
Stepping up to w r here he lay, I quickly picked up the colors and bore them through 
out the battle, leading our men to victory. Our own loss in killed and wounded was 
rather heavy. We were not allowed to maintain the position which we had gained 
in the struggle, but were ordered to retreat to our original position which we had left 
in the morning. We had just stacked our arms, the pickets had gone out again and 
I had just sat down on the same stump to have my haircut finished, when with a 
bang ! bang ! bang ! the rebels came down on us. We ran for our guns and com 
menced firing. The enemy found, however, that there was too much climbing over 
the trees which had been felled the night before and retired under our well directed 
fire. We were ordered to another position of the line on the next morning, May 
2nd, and held it all day, fighting, resting, playing poker, and eating at intervals. 
At night we retreated to our old camp ground near Falmouth, a sorry and disap 
pointed lot of boys. Then I had the haircut completed." 


* bers of Company A, Sixty-sixth 
Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Wallace W. 
Cranston, Henry Heller, Thomas 
Thompson, and Elisha B. Seaman, 
accomplished a deed, which won the 
admiration of their comrades, the 
gratitude of the enemy, and a Medal 
of Honor from the Government. 

This story is told by Private Cran 
ston as follows : " At about nine 
o clock in the morning, the Twenty- 
third North Carolina Infantry came 
up the plank road, and marched by 
platoons to within about seventy-five 
yards of our works. A few charges 
of grape and canister from a Penn 
sylvania battery, stationed with our 
division on the plank road, served to stop their progress. 

" In their retreat they left a Confederate soldier on the road. The poor fellow s 
piteous cries for help attracted the attention of the commanding general, who was 


Private, Co. A, 6Gth Ohio Vol. Infantry. 

Highest rank attained ; Captain. 
Born near Woodstock, Ohio, Nov. 20th, 1839. 


passing along the lines. He asked for volunteers to go out and bring him in. * The 
roads are full of rebels/ said he, but if you go boldly down unarmed, they will know 
that you are after a wounded man and will surely not be so inhuman as to fire on 
you who are bringing relief to one of their own men. 

" With three of my companions, I volunteered for the service. We laid off our 
accoutrements, and, with two army blankets for stretchers, marched to where the 
man lay, in plain view of the enemy. We succeeded in bringing him back alive, 
and took him to the Chancellor House, which was then being used as a field hospital. 

" After we had disposed of our wounded rebel, we rejoined our regiment, and 
very soon the battle opened in earnest all along the line. It continued for several 
hours with the greatest fury until we were driven in disorder from the field. 

" The Chancellor House took fire from the rebel shells during the engagement, 
and burned to the ground, and I suppose this poor rebel soldier, with many of our 
own wounded must have perished in the flames." 


ENERAL LEWIS A. GRANT describes the efficient service 
of the brigade under his command in the battle of 
Salem Heights or Banks Ford, Va., as follows : 

"When General Hooker crossed the Rappahannock, and 
proceeded to Chancellorsville, he left the Sixth Corps, com 
manded by General Sedgwick, in front of Fredericksburg, 
which caused a large force of the Confederate Army to re 
main upon the heights. My command was the Second 
Brigade, Second Division of the Sixth Corps, consisting of six 
regiments, and was known as the Old Vermont Brigade. 

"On the morning of May 3rd, having already crossed the 
river, General Sedgwick carried the heights of Fredericks- 
burg. The main part of the corps moved from the town and 
carried Marye s Heights. My brigade was on the left of 
Hazel run, outside of the town, and in front of the principal 
heights. It moved to the attack in two columns, scaled 

these heights, drove the enemy from their position, and captured several guns and 
a number of prisoners. Later in the day, the brigade started for Chancellorsville, 
following the division of General Brooks. On the heights near the Salem church, 
General Brooks met a large force of the Confederate Army coming from Chancel 
lorsville, and became heavily engaged. The enemy were turning Brooks left, when 
my brigade deployed on the left, and held the rebels in check. The position was 
held during the night. In the morning it was found that a large Confederate force 


Colonel 5th Vermont Infantry. 

Highest Rank attained : Brevet 
Major-General, u. s. v. 

Born in Bennington Co., Vt., 
Jan. 17th, 1829. 



had passed 
around our left, 
and occupied the 
ground between us and 
Fredericksburg. A change 
of position was necessary, and, 
during the first part of the day, 
the Confederate Army and the Sixth 
Corps mano3uvred for position. 

"A general and concerted attack was 
made by the enemy late in the afternoon. 
Long lines of Infantry emerged from the woods 
and bore directly down upon us, their batteries 
successfully opening fire upon us. 

" The position chosen for my brigade was one of advantage. Four of the regi 
ments occupied a swell of ground or crest, with an open field in front. The extreme 
right regiment occupied an advanced position in support of a battery ; the ex 
treme left fronted a ravine and strip of woods and had its left thrown back. As 
the enemy advanced the right regiment and the battery opened fire vigorously. 
This volley and the firing from a strong skirmish line caused the enemy to oblique 
to our left. This regiment, pursuant to orders, abandoned its position when no 
longer tenable, marched around the right and rear of the brigade and took position 
on the left. The Union forces in our front were met and scattered by the enemy, 
and the main attack came directly upon my brigade. The attack was gallant and 
determined. The enemy evidently supposed our lines to be broken and came upon 
us with cheers. Our men hugged the crest reserving their fire until the Confeder 
ates were within a few yards of our line. One volley was sufficient to check the 
advance. The enemy was thrown into confusion, and a great number of them were 
slaughtered. For a few minutes the fire from our line was rapid and continuous, 
then the right of the line charged down upon the shattered and confused mass in 
front of us and captured a large number of officers and men. At this part of the line 
our victory was complete. While engaged in gathering in our prisoners, T received 


imperative orders to withdraw my command, and place it farther to the rear and 
left. It seemed that the Confederate lines overlapped ours, and their right had 
gained a position on our left flank, threatening to cut us off from the river. The 
movement was urgent and necessarily prompt and rapid, and, in making it, we were 
obliged to abandon most of our prisoners. Nevertheless we succeeded in taking 
with us about four hundred, including several officers of rank. 

" Our new position, covering the retreat, was taken and held. Darkness came on, 
and the Sixth Corps began recrossing the river on a pontoon bridge, constructed for 
that purpose near Bank s Ford. The crossing occupied the greater part of the night. 
During all this time, my brigade held the front with its picket lines extending from 
the river on our left, around to the river on our right. After all the rest of the 
corps had crossed, those of my brigade, not on the picket line went over. Then the 
picket line was gradually called in, and the greater part of it crossed in boats after 
the southern end of the bridge had been cut loose and had floated down the river 
around to the northern shore. 

" It has been, I think, generally admitted, that, had not the Vermont Brigade 
checked and broken the enemy s line, and steadfastly held the front that night, the 
Sixth Corps would have found it difficult, if not impossible to cross the river. We 
were attacked by a superior force, flushed with apparent victory at Chancellorsville, 
which overlapped and flanked us and threatened our line of retreat. 

" This was the first engagement in which I had command of the brigade, having 
assumed command, as the ranking colonel, only two and one-half months before." 


E Seventy-fourth New York Infantry, Fifth 
"Excelsior," distinguished itself at Williams- 
burg, where it fought in an abatis of felled timber, 
holding its position against the main force of the 
enemy. Its conduct at Chancellorsville was 
equally notable. A service performed by four of 
its members at the latter battle is described by 
Sergeant Gotlieb Luty, as follows : 

"On the afternoon of May 3rd, when the Elev 
enth Corps was driven back, General Hooker 
ordered the Second Division, Third Corps, to take 
its place. We advanced to the position about dark. 

"While lying there we heard firing in front, and General Berry, supposing that 
some of the Eleventh Corps were still in advance, asked Colonel Louisberry, of the 


Sergeant, Co. A, 29th N. Y. Inf. 
Born in Berne, Switzerland, Sept. 74th, 1842. 


Seventy-fourth New York, if he had one or two men who would volunteer to find 
out if anyone were there, and to observe the enemy s position. Four of Company A, 
Felix Brannigan, Joseph Gion, Sergeant-Major Eugene P. Jaccbson and myself 
volunteered to go. 

"We divided into two squads, Brannigan and I going together, the others taking 
a different direction. We had advanced about fifty yards beyond the outposts, and 
were close to the plank road, when we heard horses coming down. 

"We concluded to hide and await developments. 

"A party of horsemen rode to within fifteen yards of us and we discovered by 
listening to their conversation that it was a body of rebels. Suddenly the firing 
commenced from all sides at once. There was only one round, and just as the firing 
ceased, we heard them say that the General was shot. The reconnoitering party 
consisted of General Jackson and staff. 

"After the Confederates withdrew, we got up, and concluded to go back to our 
lines, but lost our way and got among the rebels. They were terribly excited about 
General Jackson, and in the confusion we quietly withdrew. 

"We reached our lines about three o clock in the morning. Here we heard that 
General Berry had followed us and been mortally wounded. Before his death he 
requested, that if any of the scouts should get back, they should be rewarded for 
their services. 


"Ax SALEM HEIGHTS (or Bank s Ford), Va., the 
** Ninety-eighth Pennsylvania Infantry, to 
which I belonged, were forced back from an ad 
vanced position. We had to leave some of our 
wounded men between the lines. Among them 
was Private Charles Smith, not only a comrade but 
also a dear friend of mine. I stepped up to Captain 
J. W. Beemish, of my company : If you ll give 
me permission, Captain, I said, I ll try to save 
Charlie. Permission was granted. On a dead run 
and under heavy fire, I advanced 250 yards, reached 
my friend, took him on my shoulders and brought 
him safely within our lines. A number of rebel 
soldiers, perhaps twenty, who witnessed the incident 
from a position behind the fence, cheered as they observed me escape their fire with 
my burden and gain the lines of my regiment. Our own men returned the cheer." 

This is Corporal Peter McAdams story. It furnishes a noble example of true 
friendship and soldierly virtue which the Government itself felt bound to honor. 


Corporal, Co. A, gSth Penn. Vol. Inf. 
Born in Armagh Co., Ireland, Oct. 8th, 1837. 




Major, HCth Penn. Inf. 

Highest rank attained : Brevet Maj.-Gen. 

Born at I^isbon, Ireland, April 1, 1839. 

T~\URING the battle of May 4th, 1863, at Chan- 
*-^ cellorsville, the Confederates immediately 
opposed to that part of the line of battle occu- 
piedby the Second Corps, tried to burn the abatis and 
log revetment behind which the Union forces were 
fighting. A high wind was blowing at the time and the 
danger was great. Repeatedly had General Hancock 
ordered that the flames should be extinguished, and 
each time an effort had been made to accomplish the de 
sired result, but the fire of the Confederate sharpshooters 
was too deadly. 

At last, in the afternoon, when the result of the day s work depended upon 
putting out the fires, General Hancock asked Major St. Clair A. Mulholland, of the 
One hundred and sixteenth Pennsylvania Infantry, to take command of the picket 
line and to extinguish the flames. The work had to be done under heavy fire and in 
full view of the enemy, but Major Mulholland formed squads of men quickly and 
assigning each squad to a section of the burning abatis, made a series of attacks. 
The enemy, seeming, to comprehend the meaning of these efforts, at once redoubled 
their firing apparently, because the volleys were concentrated upon each squad in 
turn so that the brave Pennsylvania tugged and struggled in the midst and under a 
perfect torrent of bullets. They succeeded, however, in beating down the flaming 
logs and at last conquered the scorching enemy, completely disposing of the danger 
from such a source. It was work quickly accomplished and with but very little 
injury to the men engaged. 

Later on, the same day, Major Mulholland scored another no less brilliant 
achievement. In order to withdraw the Union Army successfully from the field of 
Chancellorsville, it was thought necessary to sacrifice some officers and men. Gen 
eral Hancock requested Major Mulholland to remain in command of the picket line, 
keep up a continuous fire and remain fighting all night if necessary, or until the Union 
forces had fallen back and safely recrossed the river. The major willingly assented, 
fully realizing that the execution of the task meant almost certain capture by the 
enemy. Not only that, but he held the enemy in check on the picket line, until 
seven o clock on the morning of the 5th, when, the entire army being safe over the 
Rappahannock, he was notified to abandon the line. In doing so he succeeded in 
drawing back nearly all of the pickets, getting them safely over the river. Major 
Mulholland fortunately was not captured by the enemy, though he was among the 
last to cross the stream. 




" the Sixty-fifth New York Volun 
teer Infantry, and in the spring of 
1863, commanded the First Brigade, 
Third Division, Sixth Corps, Army of 
the Potomac. While General Hooker 
was engaging the enemy at Chancel- 
lorsville, the Sixth Corps was on the 
Rappahannock River below Fredericks- 
burg. On the night of May 2nd, under 
orders from Hooker to move out on the 
plank road leading from Fredericksburg 
to Chancellorsville, and attack Lee s 
rear, the Sixth Corps entered Freder 
icksburg, but was unable to advance 
farther in the darkness and fog, on 
account of the formidable, defensive 
works of the enemy on Marye s Heights 
back of Fredericksburg, through which 
the plank road passed. 

At nine o clock on the morning of 
May 3rd, the Corps was formed for an 
assault. On the right were two columns, 
ordered to charge over the two roads leading up to Marye s Heights. All the troops 
to the left of these columns were in deployed lines. The enemy s batteries com 
pletely enfiladed the two road-ways which led from the city, over an open plain 
about a quarter of a mile wide, up the heights. The column on the extreme right 
was composed of the Sixty-first Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel George C. Spear, 
and the Thirty-first New York, Colonel Baker, supported by the Eighty-second 
Pennsylvania, Colonel Isaac Bassett, and the Sixty-seventh New York, Colonel 
Nelson Cross, all formed in the order named. Colonel Shaler was ordered to 
accompany the two last named regiments which belonged to his brigade. 

Upon a given signal the troops advanced. As soon as the head of the right 
column debouched from the city, it received the fire from the enemy s infantry in 
the rifle-pits at the base of the hill and from the batteries, one of which was placed 
in the middle of the road, delivering a terrific hail of grape and canister. This 
momentarily checked the column s advance, but Colonel Spear, with great gallantry, 
rallied and carried it to a small bridge about half way across the open ground. 
Here Colonel Spear fell at the head of his column, mortally wounded, and his two 


Colonel, 65th N. Y. Vol. Inf. 

Highest rank attained: Brevet Major-General. 
Born at Haddam, Conn., March 19th, 1827. 


regiments were practically dissolved. The demoralization which ensued, greatly 
imperiled the success of the movement at that point, as the surging column was 
threatened with destruction from the severe h re of the infantry and artillery. The 
Eighty-second Pennsylvania, next in the column, seemed unable to make any head 
way. Seeing this, Colonel Shaler caught up the standard of the regiment, rushed 
forward, calling upon the two regiments of his brigade to follow him, forced the pas 
sage, advanced up the hill and captured two guns, one officer and a few men of the 


Washington Battery of artillery, of New Orleans, posted in a redoubt on the right 
of the road. The other regiments of this brigade, soon after greeted him within the 
enemy s works with cheers and congratulations. His men had not expected to again 
see him alive. 

Colonel Shaler s bravery was reported to President Lincoln the night of the same 
day by Doctor Hosmer, the Herald correspondent with the Sixth Army Corps, who 
witnessed the assault and started for Washington immediately thereafter to report 
the success of the Sixth Corps in capturing all the enemy s works around Fred- 
ericksburg. Colonel Shaler was promptly made a Brigadier-General of Volunteers, 
and subsequently received the Congressional Medal of Honor for this act of bravery. 




lieutenant, 6th Maine Infantry. 

Highest rank attained : Brevet I,ieutenant-Coloiiel. 

Born at Sangerville, Maine, Jan. 26th, 1841. 

T^VURING that memorable retreat across the 
*- Rappahannock, Lieutenant Charles A. 
Clark, of the Sixth Maine Infantry, accom 
plished a feat which saved his regiment from 
capture or annihilation, at Brooks Ford on the 
night of May 4th, 1863, when the Sixth Maine 
was ordered to protect a single pontoon. 
" General Sedgwick was withdrawing his troops 
across the Rappahannock," says Adjutant 
Clark; "and our position was at the extreme 
right, on a bluff. The spot was important. A 
battery of artillery stationed on this bluff 
would command our pontoon bridge. We had 
orders to hold the position as long as possible, 
and then, if cut off from the remainder of the 
corps, to make our way to the bridge if we 
could. We all understood this to mean that a 
desperate enterprise was confided to our hands, 

and we were not mistaken. We were posted in a belt of timber which screened us 
from the enemy. The corps was retired from its center, which in time left us 
detached and upon the right flank without support. About 11 o clock the enemy 
moved between us and our picket line, the pickets on our left, towards the center, 
having been withdrawn, and our pickets were captured without firing a shot. At 
this time I was adjutant of the regiment. Hearing a confused noise, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Harris and I rode to the edge of the timber, and we discovered in the moon 
light the enemy forming its lines and coming on to attack us. Riding back hastily, 
the alignment of the regiment was somewhat changed to conform to the direction 
from which this attack was about to be delivered. This was hardly done before the 
enemy were upon us. There was a sharp fight of ten or fifteen minutes, and the 
night was filled with wild outcries and uproar. The result was a complete repulse. 
We held our position, but the extent of our force having been discovered, and it 
being demonstrated that we were entirely cut off from the remainder of the corps, 
our situation was more critical than ever. Riding again to the front to see what 
was going on, I discovered that the open space in front of us was filled with 
augmented forces whose lines were drawn around us, and that an immediate 
renewal of hostilities was to be anticipated. Sewall, of Company A, just then 
captured a Confederate officer who was attempting to reconnoiter our position. I 
put him in charge of Private Crockett, of Company A, and told Crockett to take 
him over the bluff, down to the water s edge, and if he could do so, to make his way 


to the pontoon bridge and turn his prisoner in to any force he might find there. 
Crockett started away, but the officer persuaded him that it would be impossible to 
descend the bluff, as it was too steep, but that to follow the edge of the bluff down 
towards the pontoons was much easier. Taking this line of march, Crockett in 
two or three minutes found himself in the Confederate lines which surrounded us 
and cut us off from the bridge. The tables were turned. He was the prisoner, and 
his prisoner was now the captor. 


"Meanwhile, a further examination showed the enemy in readiness to make an 
immediate assault. Lieutenant-Colonel Harris in his efforts to ascertain the situ 
ation, and if possible to open communications with Colonel Burnham, commanding 
the Light Division, had been cut off from the regiment by the cordon which was drawn 
around us. I tried to explain the situation to the senior captain, and to have him 
take command and withdraw the regiment. He naturally hesitated, thinking the 
responsibility very great, and that Colonel Harris might reappear at any moment. 
There was no time to be lost. I rode along the line, cautioned the men to maintain 


perfect silence and not to rattle their canteens or accoutrements, then left-facing 
the regiment I led them over the bluff. It was a sheer descent of fifty to sixty feet. 
I started over on horse-back. When part way down, my horse lost his footing, and 
I found myself falling with him through the air. I caught in the branches of a tree 
as we descended, slid down the tree, and on foot made my way to the base of the 
bluff, with the other men of the regiment. I expected to find a horse with a broken 
neck, but old "Jim" stood there waiting for me, apparently a good deal dazed and 
confused, but still ready for faithful service, although strained and sore for days 
afterwards. The men came on over the bluff helter skelter, but as silent as possible. 
Directly over our heads, and a few rods down the river towards the bridge, was the 
Confederate force into which Crockett had been marched by his wily prisoner, and 
which was waiting to assault us and insure our capture. Fortunately, we were in 
deep shadow as we passed under the bluff along the water s edge. When directly 
under the enemy, who reached to the edge of the bluff above us, some of our men 
became noisy. Just at this time the enemy again advanced upon our now aband 
oned position, and in the uproar which ensued we passed down the river undis 
covered, and made our way in perfect order to our pontoon bridge. On approaching 
this, masses of troops were visible in the moonlight. Whether Confederate or Union 
forces it was impossible to tell. Even if Union forces, they might open fire upon us, 
taking us for the enemy, if we advanced without warning. Hiding forward, it was 
a great relief to find blue uniforms and the stars and stripes. Giving these forces 
the caution that the Sixth Maine Infantry was coming in, we joined the rear of 
the Sixth Corps, after it was supposed that every man of us was captured or disabled 
in battle. When I found Colonel Burnham and told him that the old regiment had 
come in all right, he cried like a child. We passed over the bridge with the rear 
guard, and got across just in time, for as we went over the enemy opened fire with 
a battery from the bluffs above us. Not having the range accurately, the shelling 
did little harm, and the Sixth Corps reached the left bank of the Ilappahannock 




1st I,ieut., Co. D, 116th Penn. Inf. 

Highest rank attained: Brevet Major. 

Born in Delaware, June 15th, 1843. 

T WAS a second lieutenant commanding Co. D, One 
* hundred and sixteenth Pennsylvania Volunteers, 
Meagher s Irish Brigade, Hancock s First Division, 
Second Corps," Lieutenant Louis J. Sacriste relates : 

" At Chancellorsville, Saturday night, May 2nd, 1863, 
our brigade deployed near Scotts Mills and when General 
Stonewall Jackson charged the Eleventh Corps under 
Howard, we had orders to prevent a possible stampede, 
but met with little success. Early the next morning 
we received orders to move to the front. As we neared 
the Chancellor House, and before we formed in line 
of battle, the enemy s shells killed a number of the 
brigade, because, for some reason, it countermarched 
while under fire of the enemy s batteries. We then 
formed in line of battle, my company being on the 
extreme left of the brigade, at the edge of the clearing 

around the Chancellor House. As we were forming, the Fifth Maine Battery 
under Catain Le Peine took up position between our left and the Chancellor 
House and opened fire at once with excellent effect, which, however, was only 

"General Stuart placed thirty cannon in position and opened upon us with 
telling result. The man on my right was literally cut in two by a shell; the man 
on my left, had both legs cut off; the man in my front had a piece of his skull 
carried away, and the ground was covered with the dead and wounded. Men and 
horses of our battery were mowed down with such rapidity, that in less than an hour 
every gun, with one exception, was silenced, and but two noble fellows, Corporal 
Charles Lebrooke and Private John F. Chase, remained at their posts. Captain 
LePeine was mortally wounded. After the officers were disabled, a lieutenant 
of the regular army took command, but in a few minutes he too was fatally 

"So accurate was the enemy s fire, that one of their shells exploded as it struck 
the mouth of one of our cannon, sending the pieces inside ; another shell exploded 
one of the ammunition chests, the Chancellor House was set on fire, and smoke 
and dust added to the confusion. The line appeared to melt away and the front to 
pass out, w^hile soldiers and riderless horses hurried down the road to the rear in 
something like a panic. 

"I was in command of the left company of my regiment and brigade, and, seeing 
the enemy s infantry advancing, called on my comrades to follow me. I led them 


through the dust, smoke, and the fire of thirty cannon, into the face of Stuart s 
men, reached the battery, and brought off the first gun in triumph from the field. 
My example was followed by others of my regiment and brigade, and every gun and 
caisson was saved. A few minutes later the enemy had possession of the field. 

OF HIS second exploit at Auburn, Va., which is included in the grounds of award 
of the Medal of Honor, Lieutenant Sacriste writes : 

"On the night of the 13th of October, 1863, during a retrograde movement of the 
army, I was ordered, with twenty-five picked men from my regiment (One hundred 
and sixteenth Pennsylvania Volunteers) to report to Colonel James A. Beaver, 
commanding the picket line of the First Division, Second Corps. Early in the 
morning of the 14th, while the division and train were crossing Cedar Creek, Swell s 
Corps attacked our line with such determination that it was about 11 o clock A. M. 
before we forced the position, which we did by turning our flank and securing the 
ford and road over which our division and train had passed. By this movement the 
entire line was cut off from the rest of the army, our troops being nearly surrounded, 
and on the same side of the stream confronting Swell s Corps. Colonel Beaver, 
seeing the critical position and danger of capture or destruction of his entire 
command, and perceiving but one avenue of escape, requested me to proceed along 
the line, which was heavily engaged and stubbornly contesting the ground, inform 
the officers of the situation, and direct them as to the route of march, which was to 
fall back slowly on the same side of the creek with the enemy, cross the stream 
south of the ford, and then inarch diagonally across the country to rejoin the 
division. As we started to obey the order of Colonel Beaver, one of my men 
remarked to another in my hearing, That s the last you ll see of Sacriste. 
Colonel Beaver s instructions were carried out to the letter. As we were falling 
back, however, I discovered that one detail on the extreme right, commanded by 
a lieutenant of the One hundred and fortieth Pennsylvania Volunteers, had been 
overlooked in my first instructions. A second time I went in, and succeeded in 
saving this as well as the rest of the line, the command in the meantime being 
hard pressed, and closely engaged by cavalry, infantry, and artillery. Considering 
all the circumstances, the escape of the line was remarkable, and our action and 
stubborn courage made us the ideal of a rear guard." 




Private, 5th Maine Battery. 
Born in Chelsea, Maine, in 1843. 

SUNDAY morning, May 3rd," Private 
John F. Chase narrates, " my battery, 
the Fifth Maine, was ordered to take position 
in an apple orchard between the Chancellor 
House and the woods. The sight which 
presented itself to our eyes as we came through 
the woods to our designated position was 
enough to make the heart of the bravest man 
falter. Limbs and twigs of trees were falling 
struck by a storm of iron hail ; the very air 
was laden with these flying missiles of death 
and it seemed impossible to be in that hell of 
shot and shell and survive. Into that position 

of death and annihilation we were ordered, and obeyed. Our battery was ordered to 
strip for action, a short prayer was offered and the command given : Mount 
battery, forward, gallop, and as fast as the horses could go, we galloped forward. 

" The boys were singing : I am going home, to die no more, and in less than 
thirty minutes half of our number had gone home. Even before we could get into 
position our horses and men went down like grass before the scythe. We had to 
place our guns by hand, and open fire on the enemy s batteries, which were 
masked on a wooded ridge about 200 yards in our front, and on several regiments of 
Confederate infantry to the right and left. Our orders were : Fight your guns to 
the death. Our beloved Captain, George F. Leppien, had his leg shattered, the 
other officers were soon killed or wounded, and within a short time only two guns 
out of the six could be worked. 

"General Hancock sent Lieutenant Kirby, of the First U. S. Battery, to take 
charge of us. He had just reached my gun, when a shell exploded, shattering his 
hip and breaking his horse s leg. I shot the horse to keep him from tramping on 
the wounded officer, whom I asked whether I should take him from the field. 
Lieutenant Kirby answered : No, not as long as a gun can be fired. He was lying 
on the ground near the gun, bleeding from his wound, and liable to be hit again at 
any moment. 

"Only one gun going now, and that short handed ! I was number one cannoneer 
my duty was to sponge the gun and ram the cartridge home. Beside myself, 
there was now left only Corporal Lebrooke. We could have gone to the rear and 
carried honors with us, but we had made up our minds to lie there on the battle 
field with our dead comrades, and fight the last gun to the death. We loaded 


several times with canister, and fired at the column of infantry that was charging 
up to capture our guns. Oh ! how we hated to see the guns that we had served 
through many a hard fought battle, go into the hands of the enemy. At last a rebel 
shell struck our piece, exploding in the muzzle, and battering it so that we could 
not get another charge into it. I stepped to the rear of the gun, and reported 
to Lieutenant Kirby that our last gun was disabled and only two of us left. I also 
asked him if I could take him off the field. He replied : No, not until the guns 
are taken off. What a display of courage in that young officer, lying there with 
his life s blood slowly ebbing away and putting duty before life. 

"At this moment the Irish Brigade came charging in to our support. Corporal 
Lebrooke and I held up the trail of our gun, 
while the men of the One hundred and six 
teenth Pennsylvania, belonging to the Irish 
Brigade, and led by Colonel St. Claire A. 
Mulholland, hitched on with the prolong 
rope and helped us draw it off the field. 
As soon as I saw that the guns were 
safe, I returned to Lieutenant 
Kirby, took him up in my 
arms and carried him 
to the rear, w r here I 
put him into an ambu 
lance and started him 
back across the river. 
I was informed later 
on that he died before 
reaching Washington, 
but before he left, he 
took the names of my 
self and my comrade, 
saying: If ever two 
men have earned a 
Medal of Honor, you 
have, and you shall 
have it." 

experience at the bat 
tle of Gettysburg was 
still more exciting and 
resulted disastrously 



for the heroic soldier, who at that battle was made a cripple for life. " My battery, * 
he says, " took position on the north side of the Seminary buildings on Seminary 
Hill, where we fought from 10 o clock until four on the first day s battle at Gettys 
burg, July 1st, losing nearly two-thirds of our corps, and being outnumbered five to 
one. We were forced to fall back through the town of Gettysburg and take position 
on a knoll between Cemetery and Culps Hills, which position the battery held during 
the second and third days battles. It was the time of the historic charges of 
Early s Division, led by the Louisiana Tigers, on the Union batteries on East 
Cemetery Hill. My battery was enfilading the charging column as it dashed up the 
hill. Our shot, shrapnel, and canister was doing such terrible execution that the 
Confederates opened three or four batteries on us, and made the shot rattle around 
us pretty lively. 

"One of those shrapnel shells exploded near me and forty-eight pieces of it 
entered my body. My right arm was shattered and my left eye was put out. I was 
carried a short distance to the rear as dead, and knew nothing more until two days 

" When I regained consciousness, I was in a wagon with a lot of dead comrades 
being carted to the trenches to be buried. I moaned and called the attention of the 
driver, who came to my assistance, pulled me up from among the dead, and gave 
me a drink of water. He said the first words I uttered, after he gave me the water, 
were : Did we win the battle ? 

" Then I was taken to the First Army Corps Hospital. It was a farm owned by 
Isaac Lightner, three miles from Gettysburg, on the Baltimore Turnpike. They laid 
me down beside the barn, where I waited three more days before my wounds were 
dressed. The surgeon let me lie there to finish dying, as they said, while they 
attended to all the rest of the wounded. No one thought that I could live another 
hour. I lay on the barn floor several days, and was then taken into the house, 
where I stopped for a week. From there I was removed to Seminary Hospital. 

"After about three weeks I was carried out of the hospital to die again, and was 
told by the head surgeon that I could not live six hours, but I did not do him the 
favor. I graduated with honors from that Seminary in about three months, and 
was sent to West Philadelphia Hospital, where I remained until I was able to return 
to my home in Augusta, Maine." 




First lieutenant Co. H, 23rd N. J. Infantry. 

Highest rank attained: Brevet Major. 
Born at Philadelphia, Pa., Oct. 30, 1833. 

T WAS detailed to the command of Company H, 
* Twenty -third New Jersey Infantry, and led it 
at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, Va., May 
3rd and 4th, 1863," writes Major F. L. Taylor. 

" After the retreat was ordered, as I was hurry 
ing down the road, I came to the prostrate form of 
Second Lieutenant Wilson of my company, who 
earnestly begged me to save him. Although it 
looked like suicide, I could not refuse, and stood by 
him making several unavailing efforts to obtain aid. 
Finally three of my men who were hurrying by, re 
sponded. One of them spread his blanket on the 
ground; we lifted the lieutenant on it, and, each 
taking a corner, started to the rear. 

" A Union line of battle was formed a quarter of a mile to the rear, made up of 
men of various regiments, who bade fair to hold their ground. Before we had 
pursued our toilsome way over half the distance, the line broke under the fierce 
rebel attack but reformed about 500 yards farther to the rear, and, facing the foe, 
succeeded in checking his advance. 

" As the line broke, I told the wounded lieutenant that our capture or death was 
now a certainty, and that my duty did not permit me to sacrifice four lives for the 
bare chance of saving one, so I ordered the men to lower him to the road, took his 
watch and pocket-book at his request, and left him. Perceiving, however, that the 
line of battle again formed, I encouraged my men to make another effort to save him. 
Without a murmur the brave fellows turned back between the fires of the contend 
ing forces. We reached Wilson in safety, and, though tired out with our exertion and 
the heat, staggered on until arrested by shouts. We were so weary that we were not 
looking where we were going, but with dogged resolution were struggling on, intent 
only on getting behind the line of the brave fellows who were so fiercely battling 
against the rebel advance. Looking up I found we were directly in front of a couple 
of brass field-pieces ready to fire. I hastly ordered my men to spring into the deep 
gully on the right side of the road, and a charge of grape went hurling over our 
heads. It was a narrow escape, as the captain of the battery afterwards said, for he 
could not have held his fire a half minute longer. We scrambled up out of the gully, 
and, before the guns were reloaded, passed in between them and sank exhausted on 
the ground. After a very short rest we again picked up our wounded officer and got 
him back to the field hospital. 

" On the way to the rear, I was hailed by one of my corporals, Joel Wainwright, 


who implored me to save him. I told him that my hands were pretty full just then, 
but that I would return for him if possible, and cautioned him not on any account, to 
move from where he was. When I returned for him, it was growing dark, but I 
had no trouble in finding him, and soon had him in the doctor s hands. 

" Shortly after, I heard that my friend, First Lieutenant Charles Sibley, of Com 
pany A, had fallen, badly wounded, at a certain place. I went back to my men and 
asked them to make a third trip, to rescue Sibley. They did not refuse, and, after 
getting a pass to go outside the lines again, my brave fellows went on their errand 


of mercy. But their effort was in vain. Having reached the described spot and 
calling his name without response, the rebel pickets began to fire on us, and I 
thought that discretion was the better part of valor. After covering a half dozen 
poor fellows with blankets, and giving a dozen or more drinks from our canteens, 
ordered a return, which was accomplished without injury. 

" How we escaped with our lives, while saving Wilson, I cannot tell, unless the 
rebels, seeing what we were doing, had not the heart to fire on us. The five of us in 
a bunch were a tempting shot, but there is more good heart shown, even on the 
battle field, than is generally believed, for the true soldier feels a comradeship even 
with an enemy, whose conduct shows a spirit not less admirable than his own. As 
an evidence of this, the cap and shoulder straps of Lieutenant Sibley were sent in to 
us the next morning, under a flag of truce with a message telling of his death and 
soldier s burial." 




Corp., Co. G, 62nd N. Y. Inf. 

Highest rank attained : Captain, U. S. V. 

Born in Ireland, 1842. 

/CORPORAL EDWARD BROWNE, JR., was reported for 
^-^ gallantry in action at Fredericksburg and 
Salem Heights. In telling his own experience, he 
gives an interesting account of the movements of 
his regiment, the Sixty-second New York Infantry. 
"On the morning of May 3rd, General Hooker 
was at Chancellorsville and General Sedgwick, with 
the Sixth Corps, crossed to the right bank of the 
Rappahannock, about three miles below Freder 
icksburg, and took up his line of march toward that 
city. The advance, after considerable resistance 
on the part of the Confederates, entered the city 
just before daybreak and drove them out. My 
recollection is that the enemy found refuge behind 
a stone wall at the base of the heights back of the 
city. At daylight, six companies of the Sixty- 
second were thrown in advance to uncover the enemy if behind the wall. I was 
with the color-guard at the time 

"We advanced in line of battle until we came within the rebel works, which 
formed a circle at the foot of the hill, and uncovered them. But we reached the 
spot through a murderous fire of small arms at point-blank range, opened upon our 
front and flanks, and it seemed like going to sure destruction. Our men were 
literally mowed down. Those of us who were not incapacitated, sought the cover of 
the city as soon as we could. The color-bearer was injured in the engagement, but 
my comrades and I brought him back with the colors. 

"Upon our return to the city, the remaining companies of the regiment were 
brought up and the regiment reformed. The colors were entrusted to me. About 
noon we were in line of battle for the charge, which carried the stone wall and the 
heights beyond. I was among the first upon the wall with the colors, and kept 
them flying until we reached the top of the heights and the enemy were routed. 

"In the afternoon we pressed forward, after having reformed our columns, to 
Salem Church or Heights, about four miles to the rear of Marye s Heights, where, in 
a belt of woods, our advance became engaged with what we supposed to be the rear 
guard of the enemy. We afterwards learned that it was a part of Lee s forces on 
their return from Chancellorsville. The Sixty-second Regiment was in the second 
line of battle, supporting a battery, with its right resting on the road from Freder 
icksburg. Generals Newton and Wheaton were close by, mounted. 

"Suddenly our boys came in hurried retreat from the woods, followed by the 
enemy in good form. I was at that time in front of the line waving the colors, 



when, on turning to the right, I observed 
a line of the enemy emerging from a belt 
of woods in that direction, and called the 
colonel s attention to it. At the same 
time I was wounded in the side. The col 
onel noticed that I had been hit, and sug 
gested my retirement to the rear. But 
the boys were coming across the open field 
between the woods and our line, and I re 
mained with the colors open so that they might know they had something to rally 
about, and to show the enemy that we were not in a panic. I remained at my post 
until the boys had crossed the open and were within our lines, and the enemy had 
been brought to a halt by our fire. Then the colonel, C. B. Hamilton, commanded 
me to give up the colors and get to the hospital. 

"I transferred the colors to a noble fellow, who afterwards fell under them; and 
after the enemy s line was broken and they had retired to the woods whence they 
came, late in the afternoon, I went to the field hospital. On the following day I 
crossed to the left bank of the river, and from a safe position, in the stone house 
which served as a hospital, I saw the battle. 

" I returned to my regiment as soon as my wound was healed, and was with it in 
all engagements up to the fight before Washington in 64. I was made sergeant, 
and a commission was offered me, but I declined the latter through lack of appecia- 
tion of its worth. I was brevetted second and first lieutenant and captain in the 
New York Volunteers." 




I,ieut., 122nd N. Y. Infantry. 

Highest rank attained : Major. 

Born at Syracuse, N. Y., April 7, 1843. 

A T the battle of Chancellorsville, Lieutenant 
** William G. Tracy was for a few months 
an aide-de-camp on the staff of Major-General 
Henry W. Slocum. 

" When the Eleventh Corp was routed by the 
attack of Stonewall Jackson," Lieutenant Tracy 
narrates : " I was sent with an order to bring 
back our troops across the plank road and stop 
the rebel advance, then about two miles distant. 
Riding forward, I struck the right brigade of 
Slocum s command, then under heavy fire, and, 
informing the brigadier, commanding, of my 
order, turned to the left and rear and plunged 
into the thick woods of the wilderness to find 
General Williams, commanding the division. In 
my haste and excitement, I soon lost my bearings; 
the firing in my vicinity ceased and I was completely lost. 

" Riding hither and thither wherever I could see an opening, I finally came to a 
partial clearing of about fifty acres, where the trees had been cut into cord wood 
and piled up, leaving the stumps still standing. It was on the side of a hill, upon 
the top of which a piece of artillery was in action. Although it seemed to me to be 
pointed in a rather singular direction, I breasted the hill in good faith, stopped my 
horse about twenty feet from the piece and was about to enquire where General 
Williams was, when suddenly I discovered that the gunners were rebels. 

" I was completely taken by surprise ; my heart dropped to the bottom of my 
boots. Sent with an important order lost in the woods and captured ! What a 
tale for my general! My first thought was to escape. I hastily surveyed my sur 
roundings. An open, narrow road ran down the side of the hill and up another, the 
valley thus formed being heavily wooded. Upon the crest of the opposite hill was 
a blue line, which I knew to be our troops. 

" In an instant my mind was made up and my heart seemed to come back with a 
thump to my breast. I resolved to ride down that narrow road to death or freedom. 
It was entirely open, being commanded by our troops. I walked my horse past the 
piece of artillery, gazing at the rebels as unconcernedly as I could. Although I was 
in uniform with shoulder straps, my blouse was covered with dust, and they did not 
spring for me, apparently not realizing that I was a Union officer. As soon as I 
passed, I struck into a gallop, not too fast to attract attention, yet ready for a burst 
of speed. In a moment I passed another piece of artillery and then came down to 
woods, at the edge of which some horses were tied. 


" All this time I was making careful observations and realized that in all proba 
bility there was a large force of infantry at the foot of the hill before me as artillery 
is never placed in advance of infantry and the problem now became, how to 
reach the blue line of friends on the hill. Thus far I had proceeded, apparently 
without being recognized. 

" Suddenly, just as I reached the border of the woods, some one cried out : Shoot 
him ! and I dug the spurs in and rode for my life. And how that brave horse did 
cover the ground! Down we went along the incline with no sign of a stumble, 
while I bent low over my pommel and fairly held my breath. 

"Instantly, from both 
sides of the 
came volleys 




through the woods the shouts resounded : Shoot him ! Kill him ! and both 
forces, aroused by the noise at that point, opened a heavy fire, so that I rode into 
our line amid a hailstorm of bullets. I was hit once and my right arm was 
fractured, but I was not thrown from my horse, which was wounded in three 

" I afterwards learned that I had, in some way, blundered through both lines, 
and behind a brigade of the enemy, thrown in advance of their line, and that I rode 
through this brigade and passed the headquarters of the rebel general, A. P. Hill." 





ftergeant-Major, 2Cth N. J. Volunteers. 
Horn at Conklin, N. Y., May 15th, 1841. 

across the Rappahannock. 

HE Twenty-sixth New Jersey Infantry, of 
which Amos J. Cummings w r as sergeant- 
major, was part of General Sedgwick s Corps, 
which was heavily engaged in the ever memor 
able struggles between Federal and Confeder 
ate forces around Chancellorsville. The cul 
mination of the engagements and manoeuv- 
rings came w r ith the battle of Salem Church on 
May 4, 1864. Generals Early, Anderson and McLaws 
had left Lee s Army at Chancellorsville to drive 
General Sedgwick s troops into the river. The con 
flict, which followed, w r as most obstinate, and lasted 
all day. Though largely outnumbered, the North 
erners bravely repulsed each assault until darkness 
fell, when they were forced to yield to the superior 
strength of the enemy, and retreated, in good order, 
Up to midnight the armies wrestled for supremacy. 
Both sides displayed bravery and daring, and many were the deeds of heroism per 
formed by friend and foe. The Union soldiers especially were conspicuous for their 
gallantry. Some incidents occurred which give one a clear conception of the fierce 
ness of the fighting and the heroism of the fighters. In this connection Sergeant- 
Major Cummings, who earned his medal on that memorable day, furnishes an in 
spiring narrative in the following : 

"At sundown on this fourth of May, the Twenty-sixth New Jersey, Second 
Brigade, Second Division, lay in line of battle in a depression along a ditch dug by 
a farmer to drain his land. We were supported by the regular battery occupying a 
slight elevation in our rear. Our position was about three-fourths of a mile north 
of Salem Church. 

" The Confederates massed and came down on us five lines deep. As they ad 
vanced I could hear the officer in charge of the battery behind us giving his com 
mands. He was gauging his fuses by the advance of the enemy. 
" A second and a half he shouted. 
" Blim ! Blim ! responded his guns. 
" A second and a quarter ! he cried. 
" Blim ! Blim ! Blim ! was the reply. 
" A full second ! he roared. 
f Blim ! Blim ! Blim ! answered his guns. 
" Three-quarters of a second ! came next. 
" Blim ! Blim ! Blim ! 


" The shrieking of the shells as they swept over our heads was appalling. Sud 
denly, right in front, there was a flash all along the line. The Confederates were 
within thirty yards of us and had commenced firing. The rebel yell was still 
heard, but the column had lost its impetus. As the yell died away our lieutenant- 
colonel shouted : ten-tion! 

" The order was heard by every man of the regiment. In a second everybody 
was on his feet. The colonel continued : Right about face ! 

" The regiment obeyed the orders as if on parade. 

" Then came, probably, the most singular command ever heard on a battle-field. 

" Regiment, left half wheel ! 


" The left wing of the regiment on our right had swung back, doing so to take 
advantage of the natural depression of the field and thus had left a gap between 
its left and our right. 

" Our colonel saw the opening and realized that by left half wheeling he could 
again cement his line. Hence his singular command. But, when our regiment tried 
to obey the order, beginning the movement steadily and in perfect form, the result 
was disastrous. Suddenly there was a waver, then a break and then a rush for the 


"A few brave men remained, but only a moment, when they began to swear and to 
coolly walk after their fugitive comrades trying by shouts and curses to rally them. 
A lieutenant of the battery confronted the demoralized men. He stood straight as 
an arrow with drawn sword. All of his guns had disappeared but one. It stood 
unmanned, subject to capture. His amazement knew no bounds. Our men had 
been acting like veterans and were now running over him like frightened deer. 
His oaths were terrific. He called them all the names in the vocabulary of indig 
nation. There was a score of our regiment, however, who did not lose their heads. 

" Let us save the gun! I shouted, at the same time seizing it by a wheel. The 
enemy were making for the gap, but four of my comrades were with me around the 
gun. On came the Southerners and our little group was increased by the coming of 
a few more of our men. 

" The piece began to move backward in answer to our efforts, but, suddenly there 
was a change of scene. 

" The enemy had passed through the gap and were upon us. They were holding 
our gun by the muzzle and then muskets were clubbed, bayonets were used. If the 
combatants had been personal enemies for years, the cursing and reviling could not 
have been more bitter. On both sides the wounded fell, uttering oaths and impre 
cations, but without groans. 

"Enough of our men had rallied to the cannon to keep it moving until a 
Vermont regiment in the woods on our left, a regiment which had stood firm 
through all, was able to bring an enfilading fire to bear, when the Confederates 
were quickly dispersed. 

"The gun was saved, the medal won." 

Painted by Robert Hopkin. 





T THE battle of Salem Heights, the Second Bri 
gade, Second Division, Sixth Army Corps, 
made a charge on Marye s Heights, near Freder- 
icksburg, when one of the regiments was thrown 
into confusion, breaking away from the line. This 
caused a gap in the charging columns and jeopard 
ized the success of the attack, the blame resting 
entirely with the colonel of the regiment. Repeated 
efforts to reform the line failed. Finally Lieuten 
ant Frank G. Butterfield, of Company A, Sixth 
Vermont Infantry, was entrusted with, and assumed 
the grave responsibility of moving the regiment 
without the consent of the colonel commanding, 
bring it back into action in its proper place, in the 
midst of a fierce battle, and under a galling fire of 
artillery and infantry. The officer in command of the brigade, General L. A. Grant, 
thanked and commended the lieutenant, and placed the colonel under arrest. 

The day following, May 4th, the Sixth Army Corps was under fire all day. At 
dusk the lines were shortened and upon a new line being formed near the river at 
Banks Ford, General Grant made the startling discovery that the Sixth Vermont 
Infantry was missing, possibly captured. Lieutenant Butterfield would not believe 
that his brave Vermonters had been made prisoners, and General Grant sent him to 
search for the regiment. At last he found his comrades in a strong position several 
hundred yards in front of the original line of battle. They had repulsed a charge 
of the enemy, and, charging in return, had been carried far from the original 
line by their impetuosity and valor. In the meantime, however, the enemy had 
already attacked the new line. Heavy cannonading sounded from the rear of the 
Vermont regiment. Colonel Barney, commanding, was loath to retire, but, of 
course, fell back with his regiment. Lieutenant Butterfield took command of a 
skirmish line, covered the retreat, and saved the regiment from destruction. 


Lieutenant, Co. A, 6th Vermont Infantry. 

Highest rank attained : Brig.-General, U. S. V 

Born at Rochingham, Vt., 1812. 

AT Lee s Mills a few weeks before the incident above recorded, Lieutenant 
Butterfield was forced to fall back over the Warwick Creek with his command while 
under a fearful fire from the enemy. He and Captain E. F. Reynolds, of Company 
F, Sixth Vermont Infantry, were the last to retreat. The captain fell, and here it 
was that Lieutenant Butterfield displayed true comradeship. He assisted the 
wounded officer across the creek, where in midstream he fainted. But the lieu 
tenant would not desert him. He held his head up above water until he had reached 
the other bank with his load, only to find that his comrade was dead. 




Colonel, (list X. Y. Infantry. 

Highest rank attained: Lieut.-Gen., U. S. A. 

Born at Westminster, Mass., Aug. 8, LS39. 

received his Medal of Honor when 
a colonel during the War of the Rebel 
lion. The proud distinction was given 
this brilliant American soldier for " dis 
tinguished gallantry while holding with 
his command, an advanced position, 
against repeated assaults by a strong force 
of the enemy." 

The occurrence took place during the 
battle of Chancellorsville, May 2 and 3, 1863, 
and is described by General Miles himself in 
the following : 

"On Friday, May 1, 1863, as the Second Army 
Corps was advancing from Chancellorsville to 
ward Fredericksburg, Va., my regiment being in 
advance, I was ordered to move forward and de 
ploy my command as skirmishers on the right of 
the road. After advancing through the woods some 500 yards, I came to an open 
held, where I found the enemy, and also a brigade belonging to the Twelfth Army 
Corps, which was retreating double-quick, without rear guard or flankers. Here I 
was ordered to halt, and I remained in this position about half an hour, when I 
was informed by Lieutenant Alvord, of General Caldwell s staff, that the division 
was falling back, and ordered me to protect the rear. The enemy was then ad 
vancing in column with a very strong skirmish line, which was different from any I 
had ever seen, being much stronger and in four ranks ; part filed to the front, 
keeping up a continued fire. We were also exposed to the fire of their artillery, but 
without much loss, we fell back until I passed the troops of the Third Corps, when I 
reformed the line, and was soon ordered forward with the rest of the brigade, taking 
up a new position on the left of the road, my right connecting with the One hundred 
and forty-eighth Pennsylvania and my left with that of the Twenty-second Massa 
chusetts Volunteers, General Barnes Division. I was then ordered by Lieutenant 
Mitchell, of General Hancock s staff, to take charge of the line of skirmishers in 
front of the entire division. During the fore part of the night I received instruc 
tions from General Hancock that the division was to withdraw to another line some 
distance to the rear, and ordered me to establish my line on the most favorable 
ground in its front. 


" At 3 A. M. of the 2d, I withdrew the picket line to the rear of an abatis, which 
had been formed during the night by some regiments of the division. Here I 
remained during the day. The force on this line consisted of the Fifty-seventh 
New York Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel A. B. Chapman ; two companies of the 
Fifty-second New York, four companies of the Second Delaware, and six companies 
of the One hundred and forty-eighth Pennsylvania, together with the Eleventh 
Massachusetts Volunteers, Colonel Blaisdell, which was ordered there by General 
Carr, for the purpose of feeling the enemy with their sharpshooters. 

" We were constantly engaged skirmishing with the enemy during the day, and 
at about 3 P. M. the enemy commenced massing his troops in two columns, one on 
each side of the road, flanked by a line of battle about 800 yards in front in the 
woods. Their orders could be distinctly heard. They soon advanced with a tre 
mendous yell, and were met with a sure and deadly fire of one single line. A very 
sharp engagement continued for about half an hour after which the enemy fell back 
in disorder. Their charge was impetuous and determined, advancing within twenty 
yards of my abatis, but were hurled back with fearful loss, and made no further 

"About 9 A. M. of the 3d instant, I received a detachment of 250 men, under 
command of Lieutenant-Colonel McCreary, of the One hundred and forty-fifth 
Pennsylvania, as a support. Soon after, my line was vigorously attacked by the 
enemy on the left, and engaged the entire line. This continued for about half an 
hour, when I deployed about one-third of my reserve on the left, and was about to 
order up the remainder when I received a severe wound in the abdomen, and was 
obliged to leave the field." 

Colonel Miles conduct througnout this campaign was highly commended by his 
superior officers who in their official reports of this battle lavished their praise upon 
the young soldier. After the engagement at Chancellorsville, General John C. Cald 
well spoke of him in the following flattering terms : 

" Colonel Miles, of the Sixty-first New York Volunteers, was placed by General 
Hancock in command of the picket line of the division, which consisted of six 
companies of the One hundred and forty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers, the Fifty- 
seventh New York, two companies of the Second Delaware, supported by the 
Eleventh Massachusetts Volunteers. 

" With this force Colonel Miles skirmished all day long with the enemy, and at 
3 P. M., repulsed with signal loss, a determined attack of the enemy, made in two 
columns on each side of the road. I do not doubt, that this repulse of the enemy, 
which kept them from our main lines, was due principally to the skill and gallantry 
of Colonel Miles, who, with a single line of skirmishers, deployed at three paces, 
repelled a determined attack of the enemy made in column, a feat rarely paralleled. 
* * * * I confess I was somewhat anxious for the One hundred and forty-eighth 
Pennsylvania Volunteers, it being a new regiment, and, never having been exposed 
to fire. It behaved, however, throughout with the greatest coolness, vying with 

the old troops in steadiness. Colonel Miles speaks in high terms of the six com 
panies that were on picket, and the other four companies fought with the greatest 
gallantry under my own eye. I have seldom seen a more steady or better-directed 
tire than w T as theirs in the w T oods on Sunday. The Sixty-first New York Volunteers 
maintained its well earned reputation for steadiness, bravery, and all good soldierly 

"I greatly regret to report that Colonel Miles w r as severely, if not mortally, 
wounded on Sunday morning while handling the picket line with masterly ability. 
I have had occasion heretofore to mention the distinguished conduct of Colonel 
Miles in every battle in which the brigade has been engaged. His merits as a mili 
tary man seem to me of the very highest order. I know of no terms of praise too 
exaggerated to characterize his masterly ability. If ever a soldier earned promotion, 
he has done so. Providence should spare his life, and I earnestly recommend that he 
should be promoted and intrusted with a command commensurate with his abilities." 


T REGARD the conduct of the soldiers who 
* manned the transports as among the most 
heioic of the whole war." 

Admiral Porter in expressing this opinion 
referred to the men who manned the trans 
ports Tiger, John F. Cheeseman, Moderator, 
Henry Clay, Anglo-Saxon, and Horizon, which 
ferried the Union troops across the Mississippi. 
This brilliant feat is described by Second 
Lieutenant James D. Vernay, of the Seventy- 
seventh Illinois Volunteers, who commanded 
the Horizon, as follows : 

"Some few days before the boats were 
being prepared for the special service of fer 
rying the troops across the Mississippi, I over 
heard Generals Logan s and Grant s quarter 
masters talking about calling for volunteers 

to man the boats. The next morning I walked nine miles in the rain and mud down 

the levee to general headquarters, to put my name down. 

" I met Colonel Rawlins, with whom I had a speaking acquaintance, and informed 

him of my intention. He encouraged me and said, that he thought I would have an 


2d Lieut.. Co. B. 7Tth 111. Vol. Inf. 

Highest rank attained: Brevet Major. 

Born at Lacon, 111., Dec. 24, 1834. 


opportunity to go. I told him that the whole of Logan s Division would want to 
volunteer and that I would feel disappointed if my offer were not accepted. He 
took a slip of paper and wrote my name, rank, and regiment, and said : There, 
will that suit you ? Well, that s what I came here for, I replied. 

" I was placed in command of the Horizon, the last one of the six transports. 
An hour before the time set for our boats to go in under fire, I assembled our men 
in the cabin. There I gave them some necessary instructions, provided them with 
pieces of strong cord to tie up a wounded leg or arm, if such emergency should 
arise, and impressed upon them the importance of our service. They crowded about 
me, some showing the pictures of their loved ones, wives, children, mothers, and 
sweethearts, and we finally bade each other goodbye, all hoping for a successful 
ending, but everyone ready to die in the performance of a sacred duty. 

" We worked all night, arriving at New Carthage on the following morning at 
nine o clock. On April 23d General Grant, after a consultation, ordered the trans 
ports to run the gauntlet of fire. We started at 7 P. M. As we successfully passed 
the last of the enemy s batteries, our cheers and hurrahs echoed over the water and 
our joy was boundless. With our six boats, ragged and torn by shot and shell, we 
had ferried our troops across the Mississippi, and commenced that brilliant cam 
paign, which ended in the capture of General Pemberton and his whole army at 


of the most desperate feats of the 
war was the attempt of Captain Wil 
liam H. Ward, of Company B, Forty-seventh 
Ohio Volunteers, to run the gauntlet of the 
Confederate batteries at Vicksburg, on the 
night of May 3, 1863. There were three 
barges loaded with stores for General Grant s 
Army, but between them and their destina 
tion lay the enemy s batteries, mounting 
more than one hundred guns, many of them 
of the heaviest calibre. The Mississippi River 
makes a double bend at this point, like the 
letter S, and from the moment the barges 
entered the first bend, till they emerged on 
the open river below, they would be under 

the concentrated fire of the guns every foot of the way, and it seemed impossible 

that anyone could live under such a terrible fire. 


Captain, Co. B. 47th Ohio Inf. 
Born at Adrian, Mich., Dec. 9, ]840. 


The strength of the position was not unknown to Captain Ward, for he had 
several times, from a distance watched the batteries in action, when the ironclads 
were attempting to run the blockade. What he had seen, instead of deterring him, 
only made him more anxious for a closer acquaintance, and w r hen a call was made 
for volunteers to take the barge down the stream, he was the first to offer himself. 
There was no lack of volunteers, and where only thirty-five men were required, ten 
times that number were willing and anxious to go. One man, Addison J. Hodges, 
was so eager to go, that he actually offered a comrade a dollar to let him go in 
his place. 

Previous expeditions had run the gauntlet of these batteries with more or less 
success, but always on the darkest of nights and convoyed by armor-clad gunboats. 
On this occasion a full moon and a clear sky made the night as light as day, and 
there were no gunboats to shelter the barges from the enemy s fire. There was 
only one little tug, the George Sturgis, to tow the barges, and any accident to her 
would wreck the whole expedition. This did not discourage the gallant little band, 
and the account of the adventure is entertainingly given by Captain Ward, as 
follows : 

"We cast off from Milliken s Bend, La., about fifteen miles above Vicksburg at 
ten o clock P. M, The trip down the river was uneventful until two o clock in the 
morning, \vhen a rocket sent up from one of the Confederate batteries, warned the 
enemy of our approach, and we were soon under a heavy fire. It was a wild ride 
we had from this time on. 

" Battery after battery opened on us as we came within range, until it seemed 
that the guns were being played upon like the keys of a piano, and to say that the 
rain of shot and shell was terrific but faintly describes the situation. The scene 
was indescribably grand and awe-inspiring as we steamed slowly past the city amid 
the roar of more than a hundred guns, with their death-dealing missiles whistling 
and shrieking over and around us, and exploding on board, while the patter of 
bullets from the infantry resembled a fall of hail-stones. The barges were large and 
unwieldy ; and as we could make only about six miles an hour at best, the enemy s 
gunners were able to get our range accurately. We had been struck many times 
but not seriously damaged. The little tug seemed to bear a charmed life, for we 
passed several times within a hundred yards of the heaviest batteries. 

" We had now been under fire three-quarters of an hour, and had reached a point 
below the city where ten minutes more meant safety. The steady puff-puff of the 
little tug gave assurance that all was .right, and we were beginning to indulge in 
mental congratulations on the success of the expedition, when a roar like the 
bursting of a volcano, caused the barges to rock as if shaken by an earthquake, and 
in an instant the air was filled with burning coals, flying timbers, and debris. A 
plunging shot from a heavy gun, stationed on an eminence far in the rear, had struck 
the tug and penetrated to the furnaces, where it exploded, blowing the boilers and 
machinery up through the deck, and completely wrecking the vessel. The blazing 


coals fell in a shower over both barges, setting fire to the bales of hay in hundreds 
of places at once. The enemy sent up a cheer upon witnessing our misfortune, and 
for a few minutes seemingly redoubled their fire. The tug went down like a plum 
met, while the barges were soon blazing wrecks, drifting with the eddying current 
of the river. No recourse remained but surrender, and the waving of a handker 
chief from a soldier s bayonet caused the firing to cease. The fiames compelled the 
survivors to seek safety by taking to the water, and, having no boats, we floated off 
on bales of hay and found them surprisingly buoyant. The wounded were first cared 
for, and then all took passage on the hay-bale line. 

" The enemy now hailed us from shore, ordering us to come in and surrender, but, on 
learning that we had no boats, sent their own to our assistance, capturing all but one 
of the survivors. That one, Julius C. Conklin by name, was the only man in the party 
who could not swim. He managed, with the aid of a piece of wreckage, to reach the 
Louisiana shore unobserved by the enemy, and rejoined his company two days later. 

" When all had been rescued and assembled in the moonlight under guard of 
Confederate bayonets, the roll was called, and just sixteen, less than half our 
original number, were found to have survived. Some of the scalded men were 
piteous sights to behold, the flesh hanging in shreds from their faces and bodies, as 
they ran about in excruciating agony, praying that something be done to relieve 
their sufferings. These, with the wounded, were speedily sent to a hospital, where 
some of them died the next day. 

" It is not often, even in a soldier s life, that one is compelled to face death in so 
many forms as beset our little party on that memorable night; shot and shell, fire, 
water, and a boiler explosion with its attendant horrors. Our captors treated us 
with marked consideration, affording every courtesy consistent with the rules of war 
and we were the recipients of many attentions from soldiers and citizens, who 
seemed to marvel at the temerity of our undertaking. We were held prisoners in 
Vicksburg for two days, when General Grant, having crossed the river and defeated 
the enemy near Grand Gulf, Mississippi, began to threaten the city from the rear. 
We were then paroled, and hurriedly forwarded to Richmond, Va., where, after an 
eventful journey through the Confederacy, we duly arrived, and were assigned 
quarters in that famous Confederate hostelry, Libby Prison. Here we remained 
about six weeks before we were exchanged and we were only able to rejoin the regi 
ment in the trenches before Vicksburg, on the evening before the surrender, just in 
time to be in at the death. 

" Language fails to describe my feelings, when with a few companions I entered 
the city the next morning, July 4th, immediately after the surrender, under circum 
stances in such marked contrast with my forced advent of a few days before. Now 
no hostile demonstrations of any kind greeted us. The great guns were still, the hos 
tile flags were furled and Old Glory floated proudly from the public buildings, while 
our late foes were quietly resting in their camps awaiting the pleasure of the victors." 





E Twentieth Michigan Infantry under the 
command of Lieutenant W. H. Smith, 
formed part of a provisional brigade which 
included three regiments of Kentucky cavalry 
and the Thirteenth Indiana Independent Bat 
tery, and was commanded by Colonel Richard 
T. Jacob. The gallant regiment from Michi 
gan, was sent with this provisional brigade 
south of the Cumberland River, to hold the 
Confederate general, John Morgan, in check. 
How this was accomplished Major Byron M. 
Cutcheon describes as follows : 

"After some skirmishing at Monticello, 
Ky., we had fallen back to the Cumberland River 
on May 9, 1863, and were waiting for a scout 
ing party to come in, to recross, when 
Morgan s advance attacked our outpost at 
Horse Shoe Bend, that evening. I hastened 
back to the Bend to take command of the 
companies stationed there, while Colonel 

Smith remained behind to hurry up the rest of the regiment. That night the 
regiment came up, and on the morning of the 10th we were re-enforced by a small 
body a squadron I believe of the Twelfth Kentucky Cavalry, dismounted, and 
armed with Henry repeating rifles. 

" Before their arrival, Morgan s men made a dash and succeeded in seizing the 
Coffey house, a large log house on the east side of the road, so called after its 
owner, We had occupied it as a picket post through the night. The house, out 
buildings, and garden were filled with rebel sharpshooters, who, though they 
harassed us throughout the day, did not attempt to advance. 

"About 4 o clock P. M., it was Sunday Colonel Jacob having been re-enforced 
by a piece of Captain Sims battery, resolved to take the aggressive, and to drive the 
rebels out of the house and grounds. To me was assigned the command of four 
companies, A and D, on the left of the road in the field, and C and K, in the road and 


Major, 20th Mich. Infantry. 

Highest rank attained: Brevet Brig-Gen., U. S. V. 
Born at Pembroke, N. H., May 11, 1836. 

Morgan s Raid. In the summer of 1863, General John Morgan conducted his famous raid through 
Kentucky into Indiana and Ohio. Starting from Sparta, Tennessee, with a force of 3,000 men, he made his 
way northward to the Ohio at Brandenburg, and crossed into Indiana. He was stopped at various points 
by local forces, but made his way into Ohio, made a circuit to the north of Cincinnati, and attempted to 
recross the river. He was driven back by Federal gunboats, and passed on to New Lisbon, where he was 
captured by the brigade of General Shackleford. He was held a prisoner for four months, then made his 
escape into Kentucky, and finally reached Kichmond. 


to the right. At the signal we went forward at our very best pace. I was then just 
six feet two inches tall, one half of the length in legs, and an expert runner from 
practice in college. I took a course directly down the road to the south in front of 
the companies, one could hardly say line , for there was no line ; it was a go as you 
please foot race with Captain George C. Barnes, an old fireman from Battle Creek, 
Mich., a good second, a rod behind me. The distance was about 150 yards, and we 
made it on the jump. There were three steps up to the porch, but I made only one 
of them. With my sword in my right hand, and a big Colt s navy revolver in my 
left, I threw myself against the weather-beaten door. A moment later, Captain 
Barnes came to my side, and the door yielded. 


"Why we were not both shot down then and there, I have never been able to 
understand. The rebels certainly missed their opportunity. Instead, we saw the 
Johnnies going out of the back doors and windows, and making for the woods, while 
the companies coming up right and left of the house, poured volleys into the 
retreating foe. 

" The charge was a complete success, but Lieutenant William Green and two 
enlisted men were killed, and quite a number wounded." 



E matters of food for men, fodder for 
horses, and horses and mules for the 
transportation of an army in the enemy s 
country, are among the most important 
considerations presented to a commanding 
officer. Forage duty on the other hand, 
requires alertness, quick wit and good 
judgment, and prompt, energetic action 
on the part of the men detailed on such 
service. It was w r hile in command of a 
party of foragers that the acting regimen 
tal quartermaster of the Twenty-first Iowa 
Infantry, won his Medal of Honor at 
Champion Hills, Miss. This quartermaster, 
First Lieutenant James Hill, was before 
the war a clergyman, but he gave up his 
pastorate and enlisted as a private in the 
Twenty-first Iowa Volunteer Infantry. 
He was later promoted to be lieutenant, 
and was finally assigned to duty as chaplain of his regiment. 

Of the episode at Champion Hills, where he captured three Confederate pickets, 
Lieutenant Hill says : 

" On the 16th of May, 1868, while acting as quartermaster of my regiment, I was 
ordered by my commander, Colonel Samuel Merrill, to select as many soldiers as I 
needed, and return in the direction of the Raymond and Jackson Cross Roads to 
forage and collect anything that would serve the regiment on our march to the Big 
Black River and Vicksburg. I selected a sufficient number of good men, and sent 
them out to cover part of the country, giving them orders to report to me at Ray 
mond and Jackson Cross Roads with what forage they had gathered in, preparatory 
to our return to the regiment. 

After getting my men off on their mission, I took a pony belonging to the regi 
ment and rode through some timber and brush in search of food, mules and horses. 


1st Lieutenant, Co. I. -21st Iowa Infantry. 
Born at Cheddar, Eng., Dec. 6, 1822. 

Champion Hills After entering Jackson, Miss., May 13, 1863, and learning that Pemberton was ad 
vancing toward the Federals rear, Grant turned his troops westward so as to be ahead of Pemberton. 
This move placed McClernand s Corps in the lead, and reaching Champion Hills, Miss., on the 16th, Mc- 
Clernand was forced into an engagement with Pemberton. McPherson came upon the field near noon ; 
a battle of four hours duration was fought in deadly earnest, and resulted in Pemberton being forced 
back to Big Black River, where Grant overtook him, and, in a sharp action, routed the enemy. The 
Federals lost 2,268 in killed and wounded ; while the Confederates lost 3,000 in killed and wounded, and 
2,000 taken prisoners. 


In following a path through the dense timber I unexpectedly rode right into the 
Confederate lines, and encountered three rebel pickets with their loaded rifles. 
I realized at once that I had gotten myself into a nasty position. Neverthe 
less, I did not lose my presence of mind, for as I emerged from the brush, I instantly 
and in the most natural manner, ordered the Johnnies to ground arms ! They 
obeyed. Then slightly turning my head, I addressed an imaginary guard in the 
brush, with a hasty order to 
halt . The under growth and 
brush were so heavy that the 
Confederates were prevented 
from seeing through and thus 
discovering the deception. I 
next gave the command : Ten 
paces to the front, eyes to the 
center. Seeing my revol 
ver in my hand ready for 
instant use, the three men 
complied with my com 
mand. I further added 
that if any of them 
turned his head to right 
or left I would shoot 
him down in his 
tracks. I frequently 
gave the order to 
halt to my imagin 
ary guard, tending 
to frighten my pris 
oners into absolute 
obedience. This done, 
I deliberately dismounted 
and gathered up the three rifles, 
placed them against the neck of 
the pony, mounted, took the rifles 

under my arm and then gave the order to my prisoners: Single file, march/ 
and to my imaginary guard : Forward, march. I hurried toward the command at 
good speed. Before it began to dawn upon my prisoners that I had fooled them, 
they found themselves within our lines. I turned them and their rifles over to 
Colonel Merrill who sent them to Major-General McClernand. When the prisoners 
saw that I had fooled them, their anger was vented in terms more strong than polite, 
one of them saying to me: Lieutenant, you could never have taken us but for that 
devil of a body-guard we thought you had, from the way you kept halting them. " 





Captain. Co. F, 50th Ohio Inf. 

Highest rank attained: Colonel. 

Born in Sciotio County, O., April 2, 1830. 

T~\URING the Vicksburg campaign the Fifty-sixth 
*^ Ohio Infantry was with Colonel J. R. Slack s 
Second Brigade of the Twelfth Division, Brigadier- 
General Alvin P. Hovey, of the Thirteenth Army 
Corps under Major-General John A. McClernand. 
first, and later, Major-General E. 0. C. Ord. On the 
16th of May, about noon, the Federal forces 
attacked the Confederates at Champion Hills. The 
contest was bitter and stubborn for several hours, 
but finally General Pemberton ordered his army to 
fall back towards Vicksburg. Thus closed the last 
and most strenuous effort of the Confederate gen 
eral to prevent the complete investment of that 
city by Grant. The Fifty-sixth Ohio participated in the battle of Champion Hills, 
and Captain George Wilhelm, of that regiment, tells his experience as follows : 

"The country over which we advanced on the enemy was hilly and wooded, 
with an occasional clearing in which we were raked by a most galling fire from 
the enemy s sharp-shooters. I was ordered to deploy two companies of infantry 
as skirmishers. We were to advance across a clearing, and drive the enemy from 
the woods on the opposite side, where they were ensconced behind trees in large 

"We advanced amid a sweeping fire, and slowly gained on the enemy. During 
the skirmish I lost a number of men. Unable to maintain the ground I had gained, 
I turned back and joined my command, the Twelfth Division, Thirteenth Army 
Corps, in the general engagement. 

" The whole brigade charged upon the enemy, but we were not able to strike a 
decisive blow, although we had inflicted heavy losses on them. Five times a 
charge was made, and after each attempt we retreated part of the distance we had 
advanced. During the fifth charge, I received a shot in my left breast, the bullet 
going through me. I reeled and fell, and was left on the field. 

" Some time later, one of the Confederates rushed to the place where I lay, and 
taking me prisoner, brought me to the rear of their lines. At Baker s Creek I 
persuaded my guard to stop and allow me to attend to my wound. I managed to 
stop the flow of blood by bathing the wound, and the cool water revived my energy. 
"It was fearfully hot at the time, and I continued to gain new strength, while 
my guard paid more attention to the fight than to me. When I felt comparatively 
comfortable, I began to w r atch for an opportunity to escape. Once my guard turned 
his back on me; that was his mistake, for no sooner had he turned than I sprang 
forward, seized his musket and fixed it at his breast. Before he had recovered from 


his surprise, I ordered him to about face and forward, march. Then I led him 
by a circuitous route, to the rear of our lines. It wasn t very easy, for I could 
hardly walk myself. My wound pained me considerably and made breathing very 
difficult. However, I did not betray my own troubles to my prisoner, and brought 
him safely to our lines, where I turned him over to the guard. Then I applied for 
medical aid at the hospital." 



ON the 17th of May, 1863, the Federal troops under General Lawler, encountered 
the Confederates at the Big Black River Bridge, Miss., well defended on both 
sides. A charge was ordered, and notwithstanding the fact that the Federal troops 
had to wade through a wide ditch in front of the Confederate earthworks, the 
position was carried, seventeen guns were captured, and several hundred prisoners 
were taken. Among the troops in this charge was the Forty-ninth Indiana Infantry, 


and almost at the beginning of the charge a majority 
of the commissioned officers of the regiment were 
either killed or captured. So it happened that the 
command of Company A, of the Forty-ninth Indiana, 
devolved upon First Sergeant WLliam Kendall. 

Tall, straight as a gun barrel, athletic, and wholly 
free from superfluous flesh, Sergeant Kendall had an 
ideal soldierly appearance, and more than that, he 
appreciated the responsibility of his position. From 
both sides the fire was incessant and severe until the 
advance of his company was suddenly blocked by a 
ten foot ditch. With a yell and a run he leaped 
across the opening to a pile of rails, and there, under 
fire, he personally assisted in laying rails across the 
ditch that his men might more easily follow him. 

Then, leading the charge he ordered, he and his men entered the works and cap 
tured more prisoners than he had soldiers in his command, the other Confederates 
beating a hasty retreat. 


1st Seig t, Co. A, 49th Indiana Infantry. 
Born in Dubois Co., Ind., Aug. 31, 1839. 


IN the woods at Carsville, Va., May 15, 1863, occurred one of the most stubbornly 
* contested engagements experienced by the Seventh Army Corps. Two days 
prior to this date, about 5,000 infantry, the Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry,, and 
two batteries of artillery were tearing up the Roanoke Railroad, while about the 
same number of Confederates were attempting to drive them away. 

In recounting the event, Private Joseph S. G. Sweatt, of the Sixth Massachusetts 
Infantry, says : 

" Skirmishes of more or less importance occurred on the 13th and 14th of May, 
but on the 15th the two lines of battle faced each other. The company to which 
I belonged, could muster only twenty-eight men the remainder being on the sick 
list. Our company, along with Company I, was thrown forward as skirmishers 
into the edge of the woods, and at once the firing became furious. In less than 
fifteen minutes more than one-third of our little company was either killed or 
wounded. Seeing that the enemy had the advantage, the lieutenant in command 
ordered us to retreat but as skirmishers. It was not long before we discovered 
that our line of battle had fallen back, their retreat being covered by the fire of the 
Seventh Massachusetts Battery. 

"While we were falling back, Comrade Thurston, of Company H, came up to me 
and enquired about his son, who was a member of our company. Some one said 


that he and George Fox were lying near the edge 
of the woods, both wounded. His face blanched ; 
that look of despair in his face decided my course. 
I at once gave my gun to a sergeant and called out 
for some one to go with me to recover those two 
wounded boys. Dave Goodhue immediately re 
sponded, threw down his gun, and together we 
started to rescue our comrades. Closely scanning 
the field after we had started, we could see the two 
blue spots lying between the lines. The closer we 
got to them, the thicker the bullets flew. It looked 
to us as though we would be unable to reach them. 
We pushed on, however, determined to save our 
friends, and finally reached them ; but as we were 
lifting Fox from the ground, my companion, Good- 
hue, was mortally wounded. Immediately after, 
another shot struck Fox while I was carrying him. 

"The Seventh Massachusetts had now ceased firing and our whole line was 
falling back. The Confederates, heavily re-enforced, charged out of the woods. To 
reach our retreating lines was now impossible. The enemy were upon us. The 
Fourth Louisiana Tigers took us prisoners. 

" After the engagement the wounded were gathered up and taken to the Hebron 
Church, which was then being used as a hospital. From there we were shortly 
after taken to Franklin, Va., where before we left, all our wounded, except Goodhue, 
had died. I shall never forget the last look on Goodhue s face as we passed up the 
street. The poor fellow was on his knees looking out of the window, left, to die 
among strangers." 


Private Co. C,0th Massachusetts, Inf. 
Born at Boscawen, N. H., Oct. 23, 1843. 

Vicksburg In the beginning of the year 1863, the Union Army, under Generals Grant and McCler- 
nand, was collected at Memphis, Tenn., and three months were spent in exploring the vicinity of Vicks 
burg in the hope of gaining a position in the rear of the town. The expedition was supported by Admiral 
Porter in command of a flotilla. 

Several attempts to open a passage for the gun-boats, by cutting a canal across a bend of the river 
with the idea of turning the channel, ended in failure. 

In April it was decided to run the fleet past the Vicksburg batteries, and on the 16th the passage was 
effected. General Grant marched his land force down the right or west bank of the Mississippi, formed a 
junction with the squadron, and, on the 31st defeated the Confederates at Port Gibson. Shortly after, the 
Union Army took a position in the rear of the city. 

On the 14th a decisive battle was fought at Jackson, Miss., in which General Grant s right wing 
defeated General Johnston s Division and captured the town. 

General Pemberton, in command of the Confederate troops in Vicksburg, made a sally with the 
greater part of his force on the 16th, and was defeated at Champion Hills on Baker s Creek. He had the 
same experience on the following day at the Black River Bridge, and retired within his defenses. 

General Grant ordered assaults on the 19th and 22d, which resulted in repulse with great loss. The 
loss to his force in these two days was estimated at nearly 3,000. The plan was changed to one of regular 
siege, assisted by a bombardment by the gun-boats. The Confederates held out until the 4th of July, when 
Pemberton surrendered with all the defenders of Vicksburg, numbering nearly 30,000, as prisoners of war. 
His loss in killed and wounded was 31,277. The Union loss during the siege was reported to be 4,536. 



A X 7HEN Grant, before Vicksburg, realiz- 
* V ing that the men of his army 
were filled with the conviction that they 
could capture the city by assault, consent 
ed to make the last supreme effort in that 
direction, it was decided to begin the 
assault on the 22d of May, 1863. 

A rush along the entire line of invest 
ment was planned, all officers setting their 
time with that of General Grant so that 
the attempt might be simultaneous, and 
when the appointed hour arrived the en 
tire Union Army moved forward. It was 
during this assault that the following 
members of the Chicago Mercantile Bat 
tery won their Medals of Honor : Captain 
Patrick H. White, Corporal James Dunne, 
and Privates Charles Kloth, George Kret- 
singer, Patrick McGuire and William G. 

Captain White narrates the occurrence 
himself in these words : 

" The morning of May 22d, at 10 A. M., was set for the grand assault. At 3 o clock 
A. M. the cannonading began from the land side. Every available gun was brought 
to bear on the works. The bombardment this day was the most terrible during the 
siege and continued without intermission until nearly 11 o clock, while our sharp 
shooters kept up such a galling fire that the rebel cannoneers could seldom rise to 
load their pieces. 

" The artillery of McClernand s Thirteenth Corps had succeeded in breaching 
several points of the enemy s works, silencing five or six guns and exploding four 
caissons, and at 10 o clock the column moved to the assault. About twelve o clock 
I received a note from General Smith to bring two guns down the ravine, to go up 
to the breastworks and hammer down a fort. The general concluded his note 
with: We shall be inside the rebel works in half an hour. 

" In order to ascertain the nature of the ground, I went up the gully to the fort 
and discovered a lunette in their works on the Balding s Ferry Road, with a twenty- 
four pounder covering that approach. On the top of the fort they had piled cotton 
bales. In building this fort they covered half of the road with earth, so there was 


Captain, Chicago Mercantile 

Battery, Lt. Art. 
Born in Ireland, in 1833. 


Private, Chicago Mercantile 

Battery. Lt. Art. 

Born in New York, December, 



space enough for only one gun. I got a detail from the Eighty-third Indiana 
Infantry, and with ropes we dragged one gun up to within a few feet of the breast 
works by hand, the infantry carrying the ammunition in their arms. We used 
shrapnel, with fuses cut so close that the shells exploded almost as soon as they left 
the gun. The first discharge w r as simultaneous with that of the enemy, striking 
their gun in the muzzle and scattering death among their gunners. I never saw a 
gun loaded and fired so fast. Every man was at his best. They did not take much 
care in sponging, and once or twice the gun was prematurely discharged. We 
disabled the enemy s gun and set the cotton bales on fire, and they abandoned the 
fort for twenty minutes, thinking it was undermined. 
That was the time for our infantry to pass in, but we 
did not know it then. The rebels returned and 
threw water on the cotton bales, but our guns blew 
the latter to pieces. An Irishman of the Eighty- 
third called out: Be gad, captain, there s not a 
pound of them left. I ll go and get you another load of 
ammunition. As he stepped off the road to go down 
the gully, a shot from the Seventeenth Ohio Battery 
cut off his right arm. 

" The Seventeenth had taken a position in our old 
place in the road near the First United States 
Infantry, but the latter stopped them from doing 
further damage. General Smith told me that Quinby s 
Brigade was coming to support us, so I told the 
drivers of the guns and limbers that lay 
here, to get back to where they 
came from at full speed, and, 
should they meet with an 
accident, not to stop, but 
keep going. When part 
way up the hill a shell 
passed between the 
swing and wheel driv 
ers, and exploded on 
the other side of them, 
throwing the swing 
driver on his face in 
the saddle ; another shot 
went under the gun. 

"My four guns opened 
with a terrific fire from their " WE DRAGGED 

... , , ., _ ONE GUN UP." 

position back on the ridge and 


they saw the troops fall back from the breast-works. Overhead in the ravine the 
air was black with projectiles of all descriptions from friend and foe. I thought it 
was time to see how the four guns were getting along, and to do this it was neces 
sary to go back over the slope of the ridge. I had not gotten half way to the top 
when minnie balls dropped around me as thick as grasshoppers. I retraced my 
steps a short distance, and then obliqued around the ridge where it ended abruptly. 
When the men saw me they cheered. After dark Sergeant Throop brought the 
gun off safely, and it was as hot as a live coal. For a week after the assault we 
slept by our guns, occasionally firing through the nights. For two weeks our horses 
did not have their harness off." 

General Grant sent an account of the operations before Vicksburg to Field- 
Marshal Count Von Moltke. The count read it, marked the passage which told of 
this incident and sent the description to his chief of ordinance. The latter returned 
the book with the remark : "Never was such a brave deed done in all the wars of 


COR superb gallantry and reckless indifference to death and danger, there is 
nothing in military history to excel the conduct of the "forlorn hope" that led 
the general assault on Vicksburg on May 22, 1863. General Grant had encircled the 
city on three sides with a line of battle twelve miles long, and on the Mississippi, 
which formed the fourth side, were Admiral Porter s warships. The strength of the 
enemy had been greatly underestimated, and it was decided to make an attempt 
to carry the city by storm, in order to avoid the tedium of a siege. The enemy s 
lines ran along the top of a bluff, and the point of attack selected was to the south 
of one of the forts. This fort, which was protected by a ditch twelve feet wide and 
five or six feet deep, rose about ten feet above the level and sloped up gently 
towards the enemy s guns. The face of the fort was perpendicular, the earth 
having been tamped, instead of being allowed to adjust itself. The point of attack 
was in front of the Second Division of the Fifteenth Army Corps, and on the 
afternoon of May 21st, each regimental commander of the division explained the 
plan of operations to his men and called for volunteers. One hundred and fifty 
men were required for a "forlorn hope" to lead the general assault and prepare the 
way for the real attack. As these men would be certain to draw the enemy s fire, 
there was little probability of any of them returning alive, and on that account it 
was decided not to order any man to go, but to depend entirely on volunteers. 
Each regiment was to supply its quota, and in view of the terrible risk to be 
incurred, orders were given that none but unmarried men were to be accepted. 
The men responded promptly to the call, and in such numbers that twice as many 
volunteered as were required, those who had first offered their services being accepted. 


The work assigned to the " forlorn hope " was to build a bridge over the ditch 
which protected the front of the enemy s fort, plant their scaling ladders against 
the embankment, and it was expected that by the time this was done, the support 
ing brigades would be ready to carry the works by a grand assault. 

On the following morning the storming party was led through a ravine to the 
Jackson Road, which crossed the enemy s lines at right angles. In this ravine, out 
of sight of the enemy, was a pile of roughly hewn logs, another of lumber, and a 
number of scaling ladders. The advance party was to carry the logs, two men to 
each log, make a dash for the enemy s entrenchments and throw the logs across 
the ditch to form the ground work of a bridge. The second detachment was to 
follow close up with the lumber, which was to be thrown across the logs to make 
sure footing for the stormers. The third detachment was to bring up the scaling 
ladders, rush across the bridge, and plant them against the enemy s works. 

The moment the "forlorn hope" emerged from the ravine, they came within 
view of the enemy, who opened so heavy a fire on them that their works were 
covered with clouds of smoke. The gallant little band advanced at a dead run, but 
in the eighty rods of open ground which lay between them and the fort, about half 
of them were shot down. When the survivors arrived at the ditch, they found it 
impossible to build a bridge, as so many of the logs had been dropped by the way, 
and it was equally impossible to remain where they were, exposed to the enemy s fire. 
There was nothing for it but to jump into the ditch, and seek shelter. Private 
Howell G. Trogden, who carried the flag of the storming party, planted it on the 
parapet of the fort, and dropped back into the ditch, where he kept up a fire on the 
Confederates whenever they attempted to reach it and take it in. 

The other brigades advanced to the support of the stormers, but were driven 
back by the heavy fire, and all that reached the ditch were thirty men of the 
Eleventh Missouri with a colonel, major, and two lieutenants. They planted their 
flag along side that of the storming party, and sought shelter where they could, in 
the ditch, or in holes dug in the embankment. The Confederates finding it impos 
sible to depress their guns sufficiently to reach them, dropped 12-pounder shells 
among them, but the fuses were cut too long, and consequently did not explode for 
about ten seconds. This gave the stormers time not only to get out of the way, but 
even to toss some of the shells back over the parapet, otherwise not a man would 
have survived. As it was, the bottom of the ditch was strewn with mangled bodies, 
with heads and limbs blown off. 

The Thirty-seventh Ohio Volunteers, who were advancing to the support, be 
came panic-stricken and broke. The men lay down in the road, and sought shelter 
behind rocks and inequalities of the ground. They refused to either advance or 
retire, and lay there for hours, blocking the way of the regiments which were 
coming up behind, thus compelling them to make a long detour, and deliver their 
attack on the left of the enemy s position. While making this detour, they were 



exposed to the fire of the enemy for nearly the whole distance, and were so weak 
ened in consequence, that they failed in their attack. 

The assault had now failed at every point, although Admiral Porter s ships had 
kept up a heavy bombardment, and the Federal troops were obliged to withdraw 

VICKSBURG. MAY 22, 1863. 

and seek cover, from which they kept up a heavy and well sustained fire. All this 
time the men in the ditch, unable to either retreat or advance, held their position 
with the utmost tenacity and weakened the fire of the rebel guns by shooting down 
the gunners. In order to dislodge them, a gun loaded with grape was dragged to a 


position where it would enfilade the ditch, but sharpshooters shot down the gunners, 
before a single round could be fired. Others attempted to take their places, but it 
was certain death to approach the gun, and it was abandoned. 

All day long, from 10 o clock in the morning until darkness fell, the unequal 
fight went on ; then the little body of survivors crept out of the ditch, carrying with 
them their flags, riddled with bullets, and made their way back to their own lines. 
Of the storming party eighty-five per cent were either killed or dangerously 
wounded, and few of them escaped without a wound of some kind. 

When the storming party withdrew, they left behind them William Archinal, 
who had been stunned by a fall, and who was afterwards captured by the enemy. 
Archinal and another man had been carrying a log between them, and had neared 
the ditch, when his comrade was shot. His sudden fall and the consequent dropping 
of his end of the log, threw Archinal to the ground, where he struck his head against 
a stone a ad he became unconscious. His adventure is best told in his own words ; 
he says : 

"When I came to my senses, I was lying on my face with the log across my body 
and showers of bullets whistling through the air and dropping all around me. 
These bullets I found, came from my own division, and to save myself from being 
shot by my own comrades, I wriggled from under the log, and got it between me and 
them. It was providential for me that I did so, for I could hear the bullets striking 
the log in dozens. Sometime during the afternoon one of our cannon balls struck 
the log close to my head ; the log bounded in the air and fell a little way from me, but 
I crawled up to it again and hugged it close. The firing continued incessantly all 
day until nightfall, when it gradually slackened, and finally died away altogether. 
1 thought I could make my way back to my regiment, but as I was rising the butt 
of my gun which was slung on my back, attracted the attention of the enemy above 
me. Half a dozen rifles were pointed at me, and I was ordered to surrender, which 
I did, considering discretion the better part of valor. 

" When I was taken into the fort, a rebel officer came up to me, slapped me on 
the shoulder, and said : See here, young man, weren t you fellows all drunk when 
you started this morning ? I replied: No Sir. Well, they gave you some whiskey 
before you started, didn t they ? he said, and I answered: No Sir, that plan is not 
practised in our army. 

; Didn t you know it was certain death, he asked me again, and I replied: Well, 
I don t know, I am still living. 

Yes, he said, You are living, but I can assure you that very few of your com 
rades are. 

" I was then placed in charge of a guard, taken to the city and put into the yard 
of the jail where I met some fifty or sixty of our men, taken at different points 
during the day. The jail yard was enclosed by a high brick wall with large syca 
more trees growing inside. I was nearly dead from fatigue, so immediately crawled 
into one of the tents put up for our accommodation, and was o-n the point of drop- 



ping off to sleep, when our mortar boats on the Louisiana shore opposite Vicksburg, 
opened fire on the city, throwing their 450-pound fuse shells promiscuously all over. 
Of course, there was no sleep for us that night, and just about daylight one of those 
shells struck the jail, the roof of which was covered with slate. I made a jump for 
one of the sycamore trees, but before I reached it, a piece of slate from the roof cut 
the rim of my hat in front of my face as clean as though it had been done by a razor. 

"A southern man, suspected of being in sympathy with the Union cause, was 
located in one of the cells, and when this shell burst in the lower part of the jail, the 
poor fellow was nearly scared to death. He clung to the iron grating of the window 
and prayed to God that Grant might come that very minute, and take the God-for 
saken city and everybody in it. 

"About nine o clock A. M. an officer came and took our parole, and then with a 
small detachment of rebel guards, we were marched down to the river in front of the 
city. The guard intended to escort us to the Louisiana side and deliver us to our 
own men, but our mortar boats, suspecting this to be merely a ruse of the rebels, and 
fearing an attack, opened fire on us, dropping big shells all around us into the river. 
We pushed off in yawls as quickly as possible, and after getting out a little way we 
did not fear them, as they could not elevate the mortars sufficiently to do us any 
harm. Thus after many narrow escapes I reached our own lines in safety, a pa 
roled prisoner, having been under fire ten hours and in captivity about twelve." 

Uriah H. Brown was one of the section that carried the logs. His captain was 
shot dead at his side and his lieutenant dangerously wounded, but he kept on till he 
reached the ditch. He threw his log across, but found it too short to reach to the 
other side. While considering what he could do he was shot down and tumbled into 
the ditch. When he came to his senses and found the enemy dropping shells into 
the ditch among the wounded men, he set to work to drag them into sheltered posi 
tions. He had got three of the wounded into a safe place, when one of the officers 
forbade him to expose himself any longer. He lay quiet for a time, but the longing 
to get back came over him and he climbed out of the ditch and crawled for fifty yards 
exposed to the terrible fire, till he found a place of safety behind a little knoll. Two 
wounded men were lying near by, moaning in pain, and he crept out and dragged 
them under cover, gave them water and lay down beside them till nightfall, when 
he assisted them back to their own lines. 

Corporal Robert Cox, Company K, Fifty-fifth Illinois Infantry, gives a humorous 
description of his experience at the assault: 

"After Trogden had planted his flag on the parapet, the Confederates tried to 
capture it by hooking it in with the shanks of their bayonets, but failed, owing to the 
hot fire kept up by the sharpshooters. Thereupon Trogden asked me for my gun to 
give the enemy a thrust. This was a very foolish request, for no soldier ever gives 
up his gun, but I concluded to try it myself. I raised my head again about as high 
as the safety of the case would permit, and pushed my gun across the intervening 
space between us and the enemy, gave their bayonets a swipe with mine, and dodged 


down just in time to escape being riddled. I did not want any more of that kind of 
amusement, so did not undertake to force the acquaintance any further. After we 
had been in this predicament about two hours, they sent over a very pressing invita 
tion to Come in, you Yanks. Come in and take dinner with us. We positively 
declined, however, unless they would come out and give us a chance to see if the 
invitation were genuine. This they refused to do, but agreed to send a messenger. 
By and by it arrived in the shape of a shell, which went flying down the hill without, 
however, doing us any damage." 

Jacob Sanford, commissary-sergeant, Fifty-fifth Illinois Infantry, tells that while 
with the storming party, he came out with no injury more serious than a sprained 
hip caused by grape shot striking the plank he was carrying. He had been very 
near death more than once, however, for he had two bullet holes through his hat, 
nine through his blouse. The bullets in passing through his hat, had carried away 
locks of hair with them in their course. 

The names of the surviving heroes whose courage and bravery was fittingly 
recognized by a grateful country by the award of the Medal of Honor are as 
follows : 


Private, Co. G, 47th Ohio Inf. 


Private, Co. D, 83d Ind. Inf. 


Private, Co. F, 4th W. Va. Inf. 

Corporal, Co. H, 83d Ind. Inf. 


Private, Co. C, 127th 111. Inf. 

Private, Co. H, 54th Ohio Inf. 

Corporal, Co. I, 30th Ohio Inf. 


Sergeant, Co. I, 83d Ind. Inf. 

Sergeant, Co. G, 97th 111. Inf. 


Private, Co. D, 8th Mo. Inf. 


Sergeant, Co. H, 116th 111. Inf. 


Private, Co. D, 57th Ohio Inf. 

Sergeant, Co. D, 47th Ohio Inf. 

Sergeant, Co. A, 97th 111 Inf. 


Private, Co. E, 47th Ohio Inf. 


1st. Lieut., Co. B, 55th 111. Inf. 


Sergeant, Co. G, 6th Mo. Inf. 

Corporal, Co. H, 37th Ohio Inf. 


Captain, Co. F, 116th 111. Inf. 


Private, Co. D, 47th Ohio Inf. 


1st Sergt., Co. B, 83d Ind. Inf. 


Sergeant, Co. B, 113th 111. Inf. 


Private, Co. H, 6th Mo. Inf. 


Private, Co. E, 37th Ohio Inf. 

Corporal, Co. B, 113th 111. Inf. 


Private, Co. K, 8th Mo. Inf. 

Lieut., Co. I, 54th Ohio Inf. 


Private, Co. C, 6th Mo. Inf. 


Sergeant, Co. I, 55th 111. Inf. 


Private, Co. D, 30th Ohio Inf. 


Private, Co. B, 55th 111. Inf. 


Sergeant, Co. I, 127th 111. Inf. 


Private, Co. F, 54th Ohio Inf. 


Private, Co. B, 30th Ohio Inf. 


Sergeant, Co. G, 113th 111. Inf. 


Private, Co. K, 55th 111. Inf. 


Private, Co. D, 4th AV. Vsi. Inf. 


Private, Co. K, 83d Ind. Inf. 


Private, Co. B, 4th AV. Va. Inf. 

AVii.r.iAM REED, 
Private, Co. H, 8th Mo. Inf. 


Private, Co. H, 37th Ohio Inf. 

Private, Co. H, 37th Ohio Inf. 

Corporal, Co. D, 116th 111. Inf. 


Private, Co. A, 30th Ohio Inf. 

Corporal, Co. C, 37th Ohio Inf. 

Private, Co. F, 83d Ind. Inf. 


Private, Co. G, 83d Ind. Inf. 


Private, Co. H, 4th AV. Va. Inf. 

Sergeant, Co. F, 127th 111. Inf. 


Private, Co. D, 8th Mo. Inf. 


1st Lieut., Co. E, 55th 111. Inf. 


Captain, Co. A, 97th 111 Inf. 


Private, Co. A, 8th M. Inf. 




Private, Co. D. 99th Illinois Infantry. 
Born in Franklin Co., New York, June 8, 1831. 

"THE assault upon that part of the works of 
Vicksburg, occupied by the Twenty- 
Second Texas, was made by the Eighth and 
Eighteenth Indiana, First United States 
Kegulars and the Thirty-third and Ninety- 
ninth Illinois, in the order named. Regard 
ing the assault, Captain A. C. Matthews, of 
the Ninety-ninth Illinois, says : " I was in 
command of the color company on May 22. 
1863. The color bearer had been wounded 
a few days before and was not on duty that 
morning. Private Thomas H. Higgins, a 
big, strong, athletic Irishman, solicited the 
privilege of carrying the flag for the day. I 
gave him permission and handed over the 
standard to him, telling him not to stop un 
til he got into the Confederate works. He 
obeyed this order literally." 

The manner in which Private Higgins 
carried out the order of his superior officer, 

cannot be more fittingly recounted and with greater credit to the brave color bearer 
than by Charles I. Evans, an ex-Confederate soldier of the Second Texas, who says: 
"After a most terrific cannonading of two hours, during which the very earth 
rocked and pulsated like a thing of life, the head of the charging column appeared 
above the brow of the hill, about 100 yards in front of the breast works, and, as line 
after line of blue came in sight over the hill, it presented the grandest spectacle the 
eye of a soldier ever beheld. The Texans were prepared to meet it however, for, in 
addition to our Springfield rifles, each man was provided with five additional 
smooth-bore muskets, charged with buck and ball. 

"When the first line was within fifty paces of the works, the order to fire ran 
along the trenches, and was responded to as from one gun. As fast as practiced 
hands could gather them up, one after another, the muskets were brought to bear. 
The blue lines vanished amid fearful slaughter. There was a cessation in the firing. 
And behold, through the pall of smoke which enshrouded the field, a Union flag 
could be seen approaching. 

" As the smoke was slightly lifted by the gentle May breeze, one lone soldier ad 
vanced, bravely bearing the flag towards the breast works. At least a hundred men 
took deliberate aim at him, and fired at point-blank range, but he never faltered. 
Stumbling over the bodies of his fallen comrades, he continued to advance. Sud- 


denly, as if with one impulse, every Confederate soldier within sight of the Union 
color bearer seemed to be seized with the idea that the man ought not to be shot 
down like a dog. A hundred men dropped their guns at the same time; each of 
them seized his nearest neighbor by the arm and yelled to him: Don t shoot at 
that man again. He is too brave to be killed that way, when he instantly 
discovered that his neighbor was yelling the same thing at 
him. As soon as they all understood one another, a 
hundred old hats and caps went up into the air, 
their wearers yelling at the top of 
their voices: Come on, 
you brave Yank, 
come on! 



"He did 
come, and was 
taken by the hand 
and pulled over the 
breast works, and when it 
was discovered that he was 
not even scratched, a hundred 
Texans wrung his hands and con 
gratulated him upon his miraculous 
escape from death. That man s name was 
Thomas J. Higgins, color bearer of the Ninety- 
ninth Illinois." 

Private Higgins was then taken before General Pem- 
berton, the rebel commander, who asked him where General Grant s 
headquarters were. 

"I do not know, as he is moving them every day, but they will be here 
tomorrow," came the ready response from the quick witted Irishman. 


"How many men has your general got?" the rebel leader inquired. 

" Oh, not many, only about seventy-five thousand," Higgins replied. 

"How far back do his lines extend?" 

"As far as Cairo, Illinois, and they are still being formed in the state of Maine." 

"Well," General Pemberton observed sarcastically, "we ll have Grant in here as 
a prisoner tomorrow." 

"I know," was the doughty Yankee soldier s reply, "General Grant will come in 
here tomorrow to ship you and your command to Altona, Illinois, where he has a big 
boarding house." 

At this General Pemberton got angry. "Sergeant," he exclaimed, "take this 
man away. He is insulting. He is impudent. He is insolent." 

Thereupon Private Higgins was led away, a few days later paroled, exchanged, 
and subsequently he returned to his regiment, where he remained until the end of 
the war. 

His Medal of Honor was awarded him at the request of the very Confederates 
who captured him at the assault. 

A T 2 P. M. of the 22d," First Lieutenant Meno- 
** men O Donnell narrates, " orders were given 
for the second charge on Vicksburg, to be led by 
the Second Brigade, Third Division, Fifteenth Army 
Corps, commanded by General Joseph A. Mower. 
The Eleventh Missouri led the advance. The 
enemy s guns had been booming for some time, but 
as soon as the Union advance was seen coming over 
the bluff, the fire seemed to double its former 
strength and fury. The ground was covered with 
the dead and wounded, and, not seeing my colors 
I felt like one lost in the wilderness. I called out: 

Where is the flag of the Eleventh Missouri ? A captain of an Ohio company 
answered: Lieutenant, your flag is over there! then pointing still farther to 
the left he said : And the head of your regiment is at the fort. I soon found 
the flag, and called all of the Eleventh Missouri, within sound of my voice, to come 
forward to the colors. Only forty-four appeared. I exhorted the boys to follow 
me to the fort. The color sergeant refused to carry the flag. Just as I was about 
to reach for it, brave Corporal Warner stepped forward, grabbed the flag, and to 


1st Lieutenant, Co. A, llth Missouri Volun 
teer Infantry. 

Highest rank attained: Captain. 
Born in Trimborty, Ireland, April 30, 1830. 


the fort it went with us. It was raised, but soon shot down, only to be again put 
up and floated on the rebel fort until dark. Twenty-four of the forty-four got to the 
fort. After arriving there we could do nothing but sit with our backs to the wall 
until darkness came, when under cover of the night, we finally got out, and safely 
returned to camp. " 

Shortly after the fall of Vicksburg, Lieutenant O Donnell was detailed on 
General Mower s staff, served with him in his campaign directed against Fort 
De Russy, La., where he voluntary took a place in the ranks of an assaulting 
column, and was twice wounded during the engagement. Referring to this action, 
the lieutenant says : " Returning from a reconnoisance, in which, with a few 
mounted orderlies, I had taken twenty prisoners, with some supply wagons, I found 
General Mower with the command, about two miles from the fort. The general 
said to me : Captain, I have received orders to go into camp; what do you say ? 

" General, it is not for me to say what to do, I answered. 

" I wish you would give me your opinion, he persisted. 

" General, I replied, if I were in your place, I would capture Fort DeRussy be 
fore evening. If we don t, the enemy will be gone before daylight. Just my own 
opinion, General Mower said, requesting me to take a brigade, and open fire, 
which was the signal for a general charge. Subsequently I led the Twenty-fourth 
Missouri of Colonel Shaw s Brigade against the enemy. There was some hard fight 
ing, but at 6:30 P. M. we were in possession of the fort." 


"AT ten o clock on the morning of May 22d, at 
** Vicksburg, our brigade captured a fort, 
together with a number of prisoners. The colors 
of the Forty-eighth Ohio and Seventy-seventh 
Illinois Infantry, were ordered to be planted on 
the fort, which was done by Sergeant Dave Vore 
and one of the Illinois men. 

"We were then in a very desperate position, 
and, in addition to the enemy s fire, received some 
of the shells of our own batteries, which fell short 
of their mark. To relieve myself somewhat of 
this uncomfortable situation, I unfixed my bay 
onet and dug a little trench near the top of the 
works, close by our flag. An Illinois man crawled 

beneath me, into an excavation caused by the explosion of a shell. We arranged 
that he should reload our guns, while I continued firing at the enemy whenever one 


Corporal, Co. A. 48th Ohio Infantry. 
Born in New Jersey, Nov. 17, 1841. 


of them would come within my sight and range. This lasted several hours, when, 
the rebels brought a battery to bear on my position, and, for some time the shells 
were singing their song so dangerously near to my head, that my position became 
hardly tenable. A little later the enemy began massing troops at this point. I was 
able to distinctly hear their commands and see their numerous bayonets. Then I 
thought it high time 
to notify our officers of 
the danger our flag 
was in. I noticed that 
our men were some 
distance behind, in the 
ditch, but determined 
to rescue the flag, 
rushed back, and re 
ceived from Captain 
Posegate, the permis 
sion to get it, if pos 
sible. I seized it none 
too soon, for the ter 
rific assault came 
sooner than I had ex 

" I reached the top 
of the bastion and grasped 
the Ohio flag ; the Illinois stand 
ard could not be saved. How I got 
down and paced the hundred feet 
to our ditch, through all that tre 
mendous fire, I cannot tell. In my great 
haste I ran right into the bayonet of 
one of my own company, who was then in 
charging position, driving its entire length into 
my leg and thigh. Although I almost dropped into a faint, 
I had enough presence of mind to run the shaft of the flag 
into the dust and hang on to it. My comrades pulled me 
down into their ditch and got the bayonet out of my leg. 
I was then taken to the rear." 

Besides the exploit which Corporal Isaac H. Carmen here 
describes, he also saved the lives of a number of his comrades, by seizing a shell 
with a burning fuse, and throwing it back to the rebels, whence it came, slaughter 
ing them with their own weapon of death, intended for the Union men. 





Drummer, Co. A.sth Wisconsin Vol. Inf. 
Born at Golden, Erie Co.. X. Y., May 23, 1813. 

THE morning of May 22, 1863, the Eighth 
Wisconsin Infantry was sent on a reconnoi- 
sance to Chickasaw Bluffs and had proceeded to a 
point near Mechanicsburg, Miss., when the enemy 
was discovered in force. It was a time and occa 
sion when every available man was needed, so that 
Benjamin F. Hilliker, though mustered as a drum 
mer, of Company A, asked for a gun and volunteered 
to go on the skirmish line. He was known to be a 
fine shot and brave, therefore his offer was accepted. 
As to what followed is told by the young drummer 
himself as follows : 

" During the skirmishing near Mechanicsburg, I 
was still company drummer, but I exchanged my 
drum for a gun, as I had done on former occasions, 
and went into the fight with my company. Fear 

in battle never seemed to unnerve me. I felt better at the front in the heat of the 
fight than I did at the rear. 

"When the fight I mention was becoming interesting, I, with comrade John 
Horton, advanced about eight rods in front of our line to get a clear view of the 
Confederate line, and in this we were satisfied, for when we reached the top of a low 
hill, we were within six or eight rods of the Confederates. My comrade was near my 
side when we came within this range of the enemy, and we both raised our rifles 
together to fire. Horton s gun rang out sharply, but mine snapped or missed fire, 
which placed me in an awkward position. Horton covered himself to the right 
behind a tree and I jumped into a surface sand pit to the left. While recapping 
my gun, something occurred that seemed to me like a terrific explosion. 

" It proved to be a Minie ball passing through my head. It entered at the base 
of the mastoid process, tore through my head, and passed out at the left nostril. 
The first words I heard after that unpleasant incident were: Lay him in the shade 
over there he won t last long. But I have lasted, though I have to carry around a 
bad looking face where good looks might have served me better." 

The Eighth Wisconsin, of which Drummer Hilliker was a member, was known 
throughout the war as the " Live Eagle Regiment." Its mascot was a live bald 
eagle, famous as " Old Abe," which was carried during all the marches and engage 
ments on a perch, surmounting the Union shield. At the end of the war the eagle 
was presented to the state of Wisconsin, in the custody of which the historical bird 
died sixteen years later. 



to a frail physique, Private Henry T. Johns, after enlisting, was made 
quartermaster s clerk, hence did not share in a good many of the rougher duties 
of a soldier. On May 27, 1863, at Port Hudson, however, volunteers were called for, 
to charge on the enemy s works a so-called " Forlorn Hope." A genuine forlorn 
hope it proved to be. 

" Ignoring my privilege to keep out of the fight," Private Johns says, " I volun 
teered as one of a squad of fifty. According to orders we inarched towards a rise of 
ground, from which we were to charge on the enemy s ranks. It was the most 
peculiar charge that I have ever heard of. There was no sudden rush, no cheering, 
nor the usual din of a general charge. We were merely following orders without 
confidence of success, yet determined to do our best. The plan was a failure in con 
ception and execution. We had to charge over three-quarters of a mile of open 
country, exposed to the fierce fire of the enemy, and then climb the enemy s 
breastworks. But we never reached it. I ran on, knowing that my comrades were 
dropping on every side of me. Nevertheless we pressed forward until, seeing that 
to go farther would be useless and only mean death, we retreated." 

Three others, Privates Frederick M. Deland, James W. Strong, and Francis E. 
Warren, also received the Medal of Honor for participating and distinguishing 
themselves in this same assault. 





pany K, Fifteenth New Hampshire 
Infantry, in describing the part he played 
at the siege of Port Hudson,- where the 
Union forces so determinedly, though un 
successfully, laid siege and assaulted the 
Confederates, says : 

"During the siege of Port Hudson in 
1863, it was necessary to undermine the 
enemy s works, and for this purpose a 
large number of negroes was set to work 
digging a trench under the rebel fortifications, and protected by our sharpshooters 
who were supplied with hand-grenades, to be thrown over the parapets. The sand 


Private, Co. K. 15th N. H. Inf. 
Born in Methuen, Massachusetts, in 1844. 


from the trench was thrown over the breastworks, for there was no place to dispose 
of it on our side. This exposed our men to the fire of the rebels, and I was one of 
the men detailed as sharpshooters to prevent the rebels from doing further damage. 
We were under a scathing fire all this time, as the enemy were enabled to enfilade 
our ranks, and with their shot and shell did much damage. One of their contri 
vances for throwing shells amongst our men, was to place short fuse shells into a 
trough, constructed of planks, lift up one end of it, thus lowering the other end over 
our works, and drop the shells into our ranks. 


"The first time they attempted this they succeeded in killing and wounding 
125 men, mostly negroes, who were engaged in shovelling. Just as they were 
putting a second shell in the trough, I jumped up on the sand bags which formed 
our breastworks, slipped a noosed rope around the trough, and jerked it into our lines. 

" This resulted in throwing the shell the other way, falling among the rebels and 
exploding there. While slipping the rope around the trough I was necessarily ex 
posed to the full view of the rebel sharpshooters but I did it so quickly and unex 
pectedly, that for a moment not a shot was fired. Just as I jumped down, the rebels 
opened up and the air was full of bullets, but just a moment too late to do me any 



\ VOLUNTARILY exposed himself to a heavy fire to 
* get water for comrades in rifle pits." This is 
the inscription on the Medal of Honor, the proud 
bearer of which is Marcus A. Hanna, sergeant of 
Company B, Fiftieth Massachusetts Infantry. 

The incident occurred at Port Hudson, on 
July 4, 1863, and serves not only to illustrate 
the hero s feeling for his suffering comrades, 
but his courage and resourcefulness as w T ell. 
Sergeant Hanna gives a detailed description of 
the occurrence, as follows : 

"While our forces were closely investing 
Port Hudson, four days before its surrender, 
the Fiftieth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry 
was ordered into the rifle-pits to support a 
New York battery. It was early in the morn 
ing, and we had just been relieved from similar 
The men went back to the pits without having 
time to replenish their haversacks or canteens. The day was intensely hot and 
by noon the men were suffering from thirst. How to get water was a problem, with 
the enemy on the alert and posted on works but a short distance from and consider 
ably higher than our position. 

" At about 2 or 3 o clock P. M. the thirst of our men had become almost unbear 
able and Lieutenant William H. Hurd, in command of our company, gave some of 
us permission to go to the rear for water. Orderly Sergeant Blatchford and myself 
were the only sergeants present that day. I at once volunteered to go, and asked 
for a file of men to assist me. No one responded. I decided to try it alone. I took 
twelve or fifteen canteens all I could conveniently carry hung them about my 
neck, and placed them about my body to afford protection from rebel bullets. A 
dummy, made by rigging up a musket with a blouse and cap, was prepared, the 


Sergeant, Co. B, 5()th Mass. Inf. 
Born in Franklin Co., Maine, Nov. 3, 1842. 

duty, performed during the night. 

Port Hudson or Hickey s Landing, situated on a bond of the Mississippi River, twenty-two miles above 
Baton Rouge, was strongly fortified by the Confederates, and was held in May, 1863, by Colonel Frank 
Gardner. It was approached by the combined forces of Generals Sherman, Augur and Banks, assisted by 
the fleet under Admiral Farragut, and the first line of works was abandoned by the rebels on the 25th. An 
assault by General Weitzel s Brigade, on the 27th, resulted in failure. Bombardment by the fleet con 
tinued until the 7th of July, when Colonel Gardner, hearing of the capture of Vicksburg, by the Union 
Army, surrendered with its force of 6,000 men. 

The Union loss during the siege was about 3,000; the Confederate, 7,208, in killed, wounded, and 


idea being to raise it above our pit and, if possible, draw the fire of the enemy, and 
then, before they had time to reload, I was to take my chances. Carefully we raised 
the dummy until the cap only could be seen, then we ducked it out of sight, to 
hoist it again at once, this time showing the head and body. The deception was a 
success, for at once there came a 
heavy volley, and before the 

smoke had cleared away, I was 

x * / 
up and off as rapidly as 

my light but bulky load 


would permit. I steered across the level plains for the nearest cover some 500 yards 
away, but I had not gone far, before I could hear the patter of bullets all around 
me, and knew that I was within sight and range. Yet, I kept on my course, 
until about half the distance was covered when I realized that I could not escape 
being hit, and bethought myself of the ruse of throwing myself prostrate, as if killed 
or badly wounded. The trick was successful. The firing ceased, and, after lying 
prone until I was well rested, I sprang to my feet and ran like a deer for the black 
berry hedge. In this second race, no further shots were sent after me by the enemy. 
" I went about half a mile further to a spring, filled my load of canteens, not one 
of which, in spite of the firing, had been punctured, and began cautiously to work 
my way back to my company in the rifle-pits. Instead of making a bee-line for 
the pit, I made a detour to the left, in order to bring one of our batteries between 
myself and the enemy. After I had reached the battery I had still some sixty or 
seventy yards to go to the right, wholly exposed to the enemy s fire. However, I 
covered this distance unmolested. Lieutenant Hurd and the men warmly con 
gratulated me, and expressed gratitude for the partial relief I had brought them." 




O 1 

2nd Lieutenant, Co. E, 12th W. Va. Inf. 

Highest rank attained : Captain. 
Born at Richmond, West Virginia, Feb. 7, 1833. 

k N June 14, 1863, the Twelfth West Virginia 
Infantry left the fortifications at Win 
chester and were marched to a stone wall on 
the hills on the opposite side of the Romney 
Road. They encountered the enemy at the top 
of the hills, and immediately an order was 
passed along the line to fall back. The greater 
part of the regiment obeyed and formed a 
line some distance back, leaving a number of 
skirmishers at the wall, where they remained 
until 4 P. M., when an advance was ordered. 
At this time, Lieutenant James R. Durham, 
commanding the skirmishers at the wall, ad 
vanced, cleared the wall, and kept on until he 

was within the lines of the rebels, who were entrenched behind another wall about one 
hundred and fifty yards distant. The lieutenant says in his account of the action : 
" We had been lying behind the stone wall several hours, because to cross it or 
even show our heads above it, was certain death. Already three of my men had 
been killed while rising to get a shot. At last, however, we were ordered over 
the wall. Turning to my boys and shouting a Good bye and Come on, I was 
the first one over. We advanced about thirty yards, the bullets flying thick and 
fast on all sides, when I was struck in the right hand. Six or seven of my men 
were also wounded about the same time. Two advanced too far and fearing to 
retreat, surrendered. 

"I discovered that the line of battle did not intend to advance farther, but 
instead took shelter behind the stone walls. I therefore ordered my men back, tak 
ing our wounded with us. On our retreat two or three others were wounded. After 
regaining our lines I examined my injuries, and now, for the first time found that my 

Winchester, Va. General Ewell s Confederate Army, after entering the Shenandoah Valley, made 
a forced march to Winchester, reaching that place on the 13th of June, 1863, with the divisions of 
Jubal, Early, and Edward Johnston. Ewell s lines were extended over one hundred miles of the country. 
Lee s Army, under Hill and Longstreet, occupied positions at Fredericksburg, and Culpepper Court House. 

General Hooker became satisfied that Lee contemplated an invasion and he accordingly withdrew 
toward Washington, and Ewell prepared to invest Winchester, then held by General Milroy. On the 14th, 
^lilroy was apprised of this movement and after a council of officers, it was decided to retreat toward the 
Potomac. Johnston met Milroy s force about four miles from Winchester and dispersed the entire body. 

Milroy s loss was about 4,000 killed, wounded and made prisoners. 


right hand and forearm were severely shattered. I reported at the hospital and 
retreated with the command. The next morning I was obliged to ride forty-five 
miles on a bare-backed horse to escape capture, while my wound was still bleeding. 
1 was unable to report to my regiment for duty for the next six months." 



"/COLONEL, you are a brave man. You are released from arrest. Here is my own 
^ sword. Take it and bring it back to me, red with the enemy s blood." 

General Kilpatrick unsheathed his sword and handed it to Colonel Luigi Palma 
di Cesnola, while a whole regiment in silent reverence witnessed the impressive 
scene. It was just before the battle of Aldie, June 13, 1863. General Kilpatrick had 
been sent with his brigade in advance of the main body of the Union troops. The 
rebels occupied high ground and were behind rails encircling large stacks of hay. 
Their guns were doing considerable damage to the Union cavalry and the necessity 
to silence or capture them became urgent. 



Colonel, 4th N. Y.Inf. 

Highest rank attained : Brig-Gen. U. S. V 
Born at Rivarolo, Italy, June ;>!. ISW. 

Colonel di Cesnola s regiment formed part of 
General Kilpatrick s brigade. On the very morning 
of the battle an unpleasant episode marred the feel 
ing of comradeship in the Northern ranks. A junior 
officer had been promoted over Colonel di Cesnola and 
the latter felt offended. He did not attempt to con 
ceal his injured feelings, but bluntly walked up to 
General Kilpatrick and protested against the promo 
tion. For this act of indiscretion he was ordered 
under arrest. In the meantime the general ordered a 
charge on the enemy s position. Colonel di Cesnola s 
regiment in a body refused to obey orders. Not a man 
would stir unless led by his own, dearly beloved com 
mander. For a second the general was nonplussed, 
but for a second only. Colonel di Cesnola gave him 
no time to form any conclusion. The honor of his 
own regiment was now at stake. Without a moment s 
hesitation the colonel rushed at the head of his men, 
ordered the charge to be sounded and led his regi 
ment against the rebels. Three times he made an 

attempt to capture the guns on the crest of the hill. Three times he was forced to 

General Kilpatrick could not observe the dashing courage of the brave New 
Yorkers and their fearless leader and remain unmoved. After the third charge 
he stepped up to Colonel di Cesnola and addressing him in the language afore 
mentioned, handed him his own sword. 

A fourth charge w r as made. Though the guns were not captured, the enemy had 
no desire for further attacks and retreated to a safer position. But the Union troops, 
too, paid dearly for the advantage gained, and the gallant New Yorkers especially 
mourned over an almost irreparable loss. Colonel di Cesnola had been severely 
wounded and taken prisoner. His horse had been killed under him. After nine 
months confinement at Libby prison he was exchanged, and returned to his colors. 
Colonel di Cesnola was a born soldier and a remarkable man.. Of noble family- 
he was a count he was born in Rivarolo, Italy, June 29, 1832. He entered the Sar 
dinian Army at the age of sixteen, and distinguished himself in the war against 
Austria. He also participated in the Crimean war, at the conclusion of which he 
bade the old continent farewell and crossed the ocean to find a new home and serve 
a new country and a new flag. He entered the service of the Federal Army in 1861, 
with the rank of lieutenant-colonel and a year later received his promotion as 
colonel. He was one of those warriors of whom the poet says that they are : 
" Every inch a soldier." 





Private, Co. C, 122d Ohio Vol. Inf. 
Born in Morgan County, Ohio, January 7, 1844. 

" THE Romney Pike runs west from 
Winchester, Virginia, up a ravine 
with hills rising abruptly to the north and 
south," Private Eldridge Robinson writes. 
" In the western outskirts of the city, close 
to a large walled spring on the north side 
of the pike, stands the old Mason House, 
of Mason and Slidell fame. Just south of 
this, extending from the pike about four 
hundred yards up the hill, is an old blue- 
grass field, broken with bushy ravines. 
Separating this from a clover-field, and 
about fifty yards before reaching the top 
of the hill, stands a stone fence. The 
clover-field extends about four hundred 
yards on the south side of the hill to a 
deep woody ravine. 

"On Sunday morning, June 14, 1863, 
the One hundred and twenty-second Ohio 
Volunteer Infantry occupied a position 

south of the Romney Road, with several of our companies thrown forward as 
skirmishers under Lieutenant-Colonel Moses M. Granger. We occupied the crest 
of the hill till noon. 

" On account of a flank movement, we were ordered to fall back to the stone 
fence and join our commands lying behind it. In falling back, Price Worthington 
of Co. B, of our regiment, was shot through the body. After we had taken our places 
in the regiment, I asked several of the boys to go with me and bring Worthington 
off the field. The drum-major agreed to follow me. 

"As soon as I reached the crest of the hill, I came in range of the rebel skirmish 
line, which opened on me with energy, but hearing Worthington groaning and beg 
ging for help, I pushed on to where he was lying, and, in a short time was joined by 
the drum-major. We picked him up, and, amid a rain of bullets, of which one hit 
the wounded man in the leg, and many cut holes in our clothes, we reached the top 
of the hill, when the gunner of a battery about seventy-five yards in the rear of our 
line, taking us for the enemy, sent a shell so close to our heads that we were coth 
thrown to the ground. 

"Although much dazed, we soon regained our feet, and, amidst the applause and 
congratulations of the officers and comrades of the regiment, placed our wounded 
comrade in the ambulance." 




Sergeant, Co. C,45th 111. Infantry. 
Born near Galena, Illinois, July 4,1841 

Fort Hill, one of the defenses of Vicksburg, 
was undermined and blown up on the 25th of 
June, the Forty-fifth Illinois, of which Sergeant Henry 
H. Taylor was color-bearer, was the first regiment taken 
into the breach by General M. D. Leggett, and fought 
there most gallantly until relieved. 

According to the statement of General Leggett, 
the struggle was desperate. The regimental colors were 
bravely supported by Sergeant Taylor, and the first to 
be placed on the rebel works, during the siege. In the 
assault on the 22d of May, a color bearer, further to the 
left of McClernand s front, had advanced far enough to 
plant his flag on, or against the enemy s works. This 
achievement, however, was not regarded as the placing 
of the Union colors on the rebel works, as they were 
not held there. 

At Fort Hill, the colors of the Forty-fifth remained 

until the line could be extended to another work further to the right, which was 
also blown up. Then, as the general saw that he could not hold the position and pre 
vent its reconstruction without remaining in the crater, he withdrew the troops 
about seventy-five feet from it, and there maintained his position until the surrender 
of Vicksburg. 

This work was done under the orders of Generals Logan and McPherson. The 
mining was done under the immediate guidance and supervision of General A. 
Hickenlooper, the corps engineer. 

" The Forty-fifth Illinois," says General Leggett, " was the first regiment to march 
into Vicksburg, receive the surrender, and hoist the flag on the court house. The 
whole of one division went in on the 4th of July, and no other troops. The Forty- 
fifth was a part of the first brigade which I had commanded, and it was for its 
gallantry in breaking the Confederate line as well as for its other services in the 
campaign, that I gave it the front on that day." 

Brigadier-General W. R. Rowley reports, concerning the movements of the Forty- 
fifth, as follows : 

" The honor of leading the entry into the city was accorded to the Forty-fifth 
Illinois Infantry, by special request of Major-General McPherson, it having been the 
regiment that first occupied the crater, after the blowing up of Fort Hill, or Hell, 
as the boys called it. The request was made of General Grant, and I myself saw the 
flag of the Forty-fifth on the court house, and know the fact to be as I have stated." 




Major. Ttli Pennsylvania Cavalry. 
Born at Harrisburg, Pa., Aug. Jo, is:(0. 

N JUNE 27, 1863, during the operations around 
Shelby ville, General Sheridan ordered Major 
Charles C. Davis with 300 troopers of the Seventh 
Pennsylvania Cavalry to make a charge on the 
camp of the Fourth Alabama, at Unionville, Tenn. 
This camp was composed of no less than 1,000 
rebels under command of General Russell of Gen 
eral Forrest s Division. Major Davis entered upon 
the execution of this order with alacrity, made the 
charge and drove the enemy pell-mell through 
their own camp and on to Hickory Hill Church, a 
distance of seven miles, taking Hardee s infantry 
picket and capturing a wagon train of seventeen 
six-mule teams. The gallant major then led his 

men back to the rebel camp, seized everything in sight and subsequently was able 
to report the complete success of his mission to General Sheridan. The enemy s 
loss in killed, wounded and captured was 302 ; the entire camp and garrison equip 
age fell into the possession of Major Davis little band and all of the personal effects 
of the Alabamians were taken, besides $27,000 in Confederate money, which were in 
keeping of the paymaster. The success of Major Davis achievement is the more 
brilliant as it was accomplished with the loss of but two killed and one wounded. 

No better idea of this remarkable cavalry charge can be given than by the fol 
lowing account, which Brigadier-General D. S. Stanley gives of it in his report of the 
engagement. Says General Stanley : 

" The right wing of General Rosecrans army had driven the left of the Confederate 
Army, a division of cavalry commanded by General Wheeler, into the town of 
Shelbyville, when Wheeler s force of 3,000 men formed line just at the northern 
outskirts of the town to defend their stores. 

" A battery of four guns pointing north, commanded the principal turnpike, well 
supported by dismounted cavalry, right and left. It was decided to attack the center 

Shelbyville, Tenn. About the middle of June, 1863, General Bosecrans decided to attack Bragg s 
forces at Shelbyville, and thereby relieve East Tennessee by driving the Confederates into Georgia. The 
advance began on the 23d of June, when McCook s Corps moved directly upon Shelbyville, where demons 
trations were to be made while Crittenden, Thomas and Granger were to move upon the place from 
different directions. Several severe encounters were had with the enemy, who were in every instance 
defeated. Granger had been joined by Stanley, and together they proceeded to Guy s Gap, which they 
took after an hour s engagement. They then moved upon and occupied Shelbyville, which Bragg had 
abandonded. The Confederate cavalry under Wheeler were driven across Duck River with a loss of about 
500 prisoners and a large quantity of stores and provisions. 


of this line and ride over the battery. The Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry was selec 
ted for the purpose, supported by the Fourth United States Cavalry. The pike being 
narrow, the charge was made in column of fours. Major Davis position would have 
placed him on the right of the second squadron, but he volunteered to lead the 
charge and put himself in front of the leading set of fours. 

" At the signal of two cannon shots from our guns, the column dashed down the 
pike, receiving only one round from the hostile battery, rode over the guns, routed 
the supports, and put the entire force opposed, to precipitate and disastrous night. 


The boldness of the attack insured its success. Only one shell struck the column, 
killing two men and three horses in the charge. Our captures were 300 prisoners, 
the battery complete, and a large amount of stores. 

"A more gallant charge was never made, and Major Davis rode well in front of 
the leading sabres, the beau ideal of a trooper." 

Major Davis was complimented on the field by General Sheridan. Congress, in 
bestowing the Medal of Honor upon the gallant major, characterized the charge as 
" one of the most desperate and successful of the war." 




Sergeant, Co. A, 5th New York Cavalry. 
Born in Ireland, in 1842. 

PIFTEEN or sixteen miles due east of Gettysburg 
is the little village of Hanover, Pa. On the 
morning of June 30, 1863, General Kilpatrick 
with his Third Division of the Union Cavalry 
Corps under Major-General Pleasonton, reached 
Hanover and while passing through the little 
hamlet, the rear of his column was suddenly 
surprised by receiving a sharp fire from a Con 
federate battery posted on a hill. Kilpatrick at 
once realized that the object for which he had 
been striving viz. : to keep his force between 
Stuart s Confederate cavalry and the Army of the 
Potomac had been accomplished and at once 
accepted Stuart s challenge. The fight continued 
during the day, resulting in Stuart s falling back 
toward York. 

Sergeant Thomas Burke, of Company A, Fifth New York Cavalry, had a thrilling 
experience during this fight, of which he says : " We were well worn out by long 
continued work in the saddle and the attack was almost a complete surprise ; but 
with the first gun my commander, Colonel Hammond, moved us quickly from the 
street into an open field where we formed in line for a charge. Getting the word 
we started directly toward the Confederates and we went with such force that the 
enemy s line in our front broke and we saw men scattering in every direction. As 
we neared the battery which was still being served, I noticed a Confederate 
flag and started after it just as Corporal Rickey did the same thing. The colors 
were in charge of two mounted men and it was a race. Rickey had gone 200 yards 
perhaps, when his horse was shot and thus I was left to go it alone. Meanwhile the 
firing was sharp from both sides ; but I gained on my prize and closing in on the 
men, as I used my carbine with good effect, I called on them to surrender. 

" My command was almost instantly obeyed and I disarmed each man of carbine, 
sword and pistol, after which, I rushed them ahead of me as fast as our horses and 
they were very tired would take us back to our lines. It was a precarious ride of 
course, but we got there, flag and ail. 

"When I took the prisoners, flag and arms to headquarters, General Kilpatrick 
complimented me very highly. The colors which T captured were those of the Thir 
teenth Virginia Regiment." 




Sergeant, Co. C, 143d Pa. Infantry. 
Born at Wilkesbarre, Pa., May 13, 1841. 

^ hundred and forty-third Pennsylvania In 
fantry, describes his experience on the battlefield 
of July 1, 1863, thus: 

" After being in the great fight at Gettysburg 
from 11 o clock in the morning until four in the 
afternoon, my regiment, the one-hundred and 
forty-third Pennsylvania Infantry, was ordered to 
fall back, as we were being surrounded or flanked. 
The Eleventh Corps had been routed previously, 
leaving our brigade, with the Sixth Wisconsin, 
to cover the retreat. 

" Lieutenant Kropp of our company called out that it would not do to abandon 
Captain Reichard, who had been shot during the retreat, and asked for volunteers to 
take him off the field. No one responded. I could not bear to see the captain left 
to his fate, so I jumped up we were all lying down and firing at the rebels in the 
railroad cut opposite and started for him, calling back that I would attempt the 
task. It was on the Chambersburg Pike, about twenty feet in front of the firing line, 
that Captain Reichard lay. 

" When I reached his side, I asked him if he could walk and he answered : Yes. 
I lifted him up and started back to the company. The Minies sang like bees around 
our heads. There was a high fence in the rear of our line of battle, which gave me 
some trouble, but Sergeant Marcy took the butt of his gun and knocked the two top 
rails down. It seemed as if the rebels had made a target of the captain and myself, 
and seconds were like hours, as the captain and I finally passed over the fence 

Gettysburg. At the end of June, 1863, the command of the Union Army, then gathered in the vicinity 
of Gettysburg, Pa., was transferred from General Hooker to General George G. Meade. He was confronted 
by the whole Confederate Army, about 80,000, under Lee, his own force being slightly superior. 

The fighting commenced on July 1st, with a struggle for the possession of Seminary Ridge, in which 
the Union line was driven from its position, and back to the high grounds. Here, a new line was formed 
during the night, reaching from Round Top around to Cemetery Hill, and there to Wolf Hill. To this 
position the whole Union force, except Sedgwick s Corps, was hurried forward. 

On the morning of July 2d, Longstreet attacked the Union left under Sickles, and after a terrible 
battle, lasting until six o clock in the evening, the strong position on Great and Little Round Top remained 
in the hands of the Federals. In the center, a similar struggle for the possession of Cemetery Hill, also 
resulted in a Union victory. The Union left was somewhat shattered by the Confederate attack. 

On the afternoon of the 3d, there was fierce cannonading for nearly three hours. The Confederate 
artillery was concentrated against the Union center. A gallant charge, made by the Virginians, under 
General Pickett, resulted in failure and fearful slaughter. 

The victory remained with the Federals, and Lee was obliged to fall back. His loss in this battle was 
over 30,000, that of the Federals, 23,186. 


and along the rear of the firing line. After a few minutes, having gained a little 
hill, I thought all danger was past, but I was mistaken, for I got in between the fire 
of the rebel batteries and our own near the seminary. As I walked along with 
Reichard, a comrade of my company, George Tucker, walked beside me without his 
hat, the blood running down his face. I asked him where he was hit, but he would 
not answer and instead turned now and then and started towards the rebels. I would 
call him back and tell him not to go that way, or he would be captured. Then he would 
turn and come back to me like a child. I soon saw that a ball had parted his hair 
in the middle, and that his brain had been affected. "After passing our own batteries, 

which were being made ready to 
limber up, I had little trouble in 
getting into the town, where I left 
the captain in a private house, and 
where Tucker disappeared. They 
both turned up all right, however, 
and later rejoined the company. 

" After getting Captain Reichard 
over the fence, near the Chambers- 
burg Pike and McPherson s barn, 
Lieutenant Kropp immediately de 
tailed George Kindred to help me 
carry Reichard to the rear. I ex 
pected to see an ambulance or 
stretcher there, but not one was to 
be found, nor did I see one, until I 
got into Gettysburg. After leaving 
Reichard in the private house, I 
saw one or two of our soldiers run 
ning ahead of me. I asked them 
why they were running so hurriedly 
and they exclaimed : Look back 
and you ll find out ! 

"Sure enough, there were the 
J ohnnies right onto me. No Libby 

Prison for me! I thought, and I ran a race down an alley, through fields, and at last 
came up to the old cemetery, where the whole runaway Eleventh Corps was massed. 
I slept that night in the cemetery, with a grave for a pillow, and never slept sounder. 
I supposed that I would have trouble finding the balance of the Old First Corps, but a 
staff officer informed me that they were right down under the hill, and there I found 
my regiment and answered the roll which was being called. 

" Lieutenant Kropp was glad to see me. He had not expected to see the captain 
or myself alive again." 




T^HOUGH repulsed early during the afternoon of 
* July 1, the Confederates soon rallied and 
made a most desperate attack upon the Union left, 
along Willoughby s Run. The Federals were driv 
en back on all sides. The First Corps which had 
sustained the first shock of the fierce assault of 
the enemy, formed a new line along Seminary 
Ridge, and what remained of its artillery was 
posted as advantageously as possible. This move 
ment left the extreme left of the Eleventh Corps 
uncovered and when, still later in the afternoon, 
the Confederates made a second attack upon the 
Union forces, the enemy broke through the Fed 
eral center and threw the entire Union line into 
disorder. This was the situation of affairs, when, 
by assuming a responsibility which he was in no 
way called upon to undertake, Major Alfred J. 
Sellers, of the Ninetieth Pennsylvania Infantry, 
saved the Eleventh Army Corps from probable 
annihilation by repulsing the enemy s attack. 

"At the battle of Gettysburg," Major Sellers says, "the Eleventh Corps was being 
forced back by the rebels, who were coming from the north in overwhelming numbers, 
and late in the afternoon, July 1, 1863, it gave way, carrying the First Corps along 
with it as far as Cemetery Hill. This left the Confederates occupying the principal 
part of the town of Gettysburg. Our brigade was on the crown of Oak Ridge, parallel 
with Cemetery Ridge, and when the Eleventh Corps gave way, a change of front was 
ordered under fire. At such a time celerity of motion is of vital importance, as a 
change of front seemingly indicates a reverse, and it is essential to create confidence 
in the men as to its object. Although not in command, I rushed to the front, 
superintended the movement and quickly established the line in its new and more 
advantageous position. This enabled us to pour an effective fire into the ranks of 
Niel s Alabama Brigade of Infantry, repulsing its attempt to turn the right flank 
of the First Army Corps." 


Major, 90th Penn., Infantry. 

Highest rank attained : Colonel. 

Born at Plumsteadville, Bucks County, Penn. 



^ Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania Infantry, distin 
guished himself at the battle of Gettysburg on July 
2, 1863, by capturing a Confederate color-bearer and 
his Hag. In one of the numerous charges which 
signalized this battle, he came upon the color-bearer, 
and covering him with his musket, ordered him to 
surrender. The Confederate handed over his flag 
and Roosevelt marched him in a prisoner, but before 
reaching the Northern lines, Roosevelt got a bullet 
in his leg, which brought him to the ground, and 
his prisoner escaped. The wound proved a serious 
one, and his leg had subsequently to be amputated. 

Roosevelt had previously distinguished himself at the battle of Bull Run in 1862, 
by recovering the colors of his regiment which had fallen into the hands of the 
enemy. For these two brave deeds he was rewarded by a Medal of Honor. 


1st Sergeant, Co. K. 2tith Pennsylvania Inf. 

Highest rank attained : Captain. 
Born at Chester, Penn., Feb. 14, LSI:;. 

\ T EVER was there a better instance of presence of mind than that displayed by 
^ Sergeant Harvey M. Munsell, of Company A, Ninety-ninth Pennsylvania 
Infantry, on the second day of the battle of Gettysburg. His regiment was stationed 
at the Devil s Den, where some of the fiercest fighting took place, and made a series 
of charges, in the course of which all the color-guard were either killed or wounded 
with the exception of Munsell, who was the color-bearer. 

Another charge was ordered, and Munsell was bearing Old Glory aloft amidst a 
storm of bullets, when a shell burst directly in front of him, tearing a big hole in 
the ground, and throwing the earth all around. Munsell tumbled headlong into 
the hole, and lay there stunned, with the colors under him. His comrades, in the 
excitement of the battle, did not notice what had taken place, and believed that 
he had been killed and the colors captured. A cry passed through the ranks, the 
regiment faltered, came to a stop, and fell back in disorder. 

When Munsell came to his senses, he found himself lying close to the enemy s 
lines, so close that if they made the slightest advance they would see the flag that 
he was shielding with his body, and nothing could save it from capture. If he got 
up and tried to make his way back to his regiment, he would assuredly be immedi 
ately shot down by the sharpshooters, and the regimental flag would be equally 


certain to become the prize of the enemy. His best chance lay in remaining where 
he was, for he knew that his regiment would soon rally and return to the charge, 
and the probability was that the enemy would not make any advance just then. 
He was right in his surmise, for the Pennsylvanians, burning at the supposed loss of 
their colors, came on with a rush that carried them into the enemy s lines. They 
swept right over Munsell who, immediately they were past, jumped up and rejoined 
his regiment, waving the colors to the breeze. 


TT was a gallant feat that entitled 
1 Captain Edward L. Gilligan of the 
Eighty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers 
to a Medal of Honor. He assisted in 
the capture of the colors of the Twenty- 
third North Carolina on the first day of 
the battle of Gettysburg. Gilligan, who 
was first-sergeant at the time thus 
describes the affair : 

" Iverson s Brigade of North Caro 
linians had attacked Baxter s Brigade 
of the First Corps and been repulsed. 

We got the order to charge the retreating enemy and we struck the Twenty-third 
North Carolina and captured nearly the entire regiment. Captain Joseph H. 
Richard, of my company, singled out the color-bearer of the Twenty-third and had 
a hand-to-hand fight with him. The Confederate pluckily held on to the colors and 
only gave them up when I reasoned with him with the butt of my musket." 


Captain. Co. E. SSth Pa. Vols. 
Born in Philadelphia. Apr. 18. 1843. 

ANOTHER exploit of Captain Gilligan was performed during General Warren s 
raid to destroy the Weldon railroad in December, 1864. Gilligan was then captain 
and acting adjutant of the regiment and so was mounted. He says : 

" The enemy s cavalry had driven in a squadron of horse which formed our rear 
guard and annoyed us considerably before they could be driven off. When I saw 
them coming on again, I rode back and made an effort to rally our cavalry, but w r as 
unsuccessful. I found myself alone, facing the rebels who were madly charging 
after our boys. There was but one way out of it for me. I slipped out of my saddle, 
threw myself on the ground and allowed them to ride over me. I was covered with 


mud, but escaped injury. When the rebels once more retired, I rose and made my 
way back to my command. I was able to report to General Baxter the strength of 
the enemy and we laid a trap for them. 

" The Ninth New York Infantry was left in ambuscade by the side of the road, 
and when the rebels came on again, gave them such a hot reception, that they fled 
in confusion and did not trouble us any more." 



IV A AJOR-GENERAL ALEXANDER S. WEBB gained his Medal of Honor at Gettysburg, 
* * * July 3, 1863, for an act which, as General Meade said when presenting the 
medal, had not been surpassed by any general in the field. He was brigadier-general 
of volunteers, and in command of the Second Brigade of the Second Division of the 
Second Army Corps, but nevertheless spent the whole day on the firing line. He 
remained with the color guard of the Seventy-second Pennsylvania Volunteers until 
every man of them had been either killed or wounded. 

Noticing a company of rebels led by General Armistead clearing a low stone wall 
to attack the right of the Sixty-ninth Pennsylvania, General Webb rushed down the 
line until he reached the threatened regiment, and directed its fire upon the rebels. 


General Armistead and General Webb remained in the fire-swept zone between the 
opposing forces until both were wounded. The fire was so severe that more than 
half of General Webb s men were either killed or wounded, but inspired by the gal 
lantry of their general, they stood their ground unflinchingly, until they were relieved. 
In this engagement General Webb received a bullet in the groin, but in a few 
weeks he was at the front once more. 


T was about seven o clock in the even 
ing of July 2, 1863," Corporal Harrison 
Clark writes, " as we moved down into the 
fight, the sun was sinking low in the w r est 
and the heavens were ablaze with its 
splendor, in marked contrast with the 
lurid fires of death towards which we 
were marching. We were halted amid a 
heavy cloud of smoke in front of a swale 
and a new growth of trees. Through the 
smoke covering the field we could dimly 
see the outlines of men moving about. 
We commenced to fire, but the word was 
shouted: firing on your own men, and 
the command was given to : cease firing/ 
We soon learned our mistake. 

"The color-bearer at my right fell, 
mortally wounded, and before the old flag 

could touch the ground, I caught it, and on we rushed with loud cries ; on, with 
bullets whizzing by our ears, shells screaming and cannon balls tearing the air, now 
bursting above and around us, laying many of our comrades either low in death, or 
bleeding with terrible wounds. Most of our color-guard were killed or wounded. 

" The purpose was accomplished. The enemy had failed to break through our 
lines, and Little Round Top and Cemetery Hill were still ours. On the return march, 
as we were passing the swale, where over one hundred of our brave men had fallen 
in the space of half an hour, the regiment was again formed in line of battle, the 
colonel ordered me to step three paces in front of the regiment, promoted me color- 
bearer and, by his recommendation to Congress, I was awarded a Medal of Honor." 

At the battle of the Wilderness, Color-Sergeant Clark displayed rare bravery and 
continued fighting, though shot in the leg. He was promoted lieutenant on the 


Corporal, Co. E, 125th N. Y. Vols. 
Born at Chatham. N. Y., April 10, 1842. 





Captain Co. A, lath Vermont 

Born in Ireland, April 7, 1839. 

E battle of Gettysburg had been in progress the entire 
day of July 1st, when early in the evening, the 
Thirteenth Vermont Infantry, commanded by Colonel 
Francis V. Randall, reached the battle-field after seven 
days of steady marching. That night was devoted by the 
entire Third Brigade, under General Stannard, to much 
needed rest. On the following day, with the battle re 
newed, the Vermont boys were called upon for heavy 
work and they responded bravely all along the line. In 
the afternoon a body of Confederates was seen dragging oft 
a battery that had just been captured from General Sickles 
forces and just at that particular time, batteries were needed. 
At this juncture General Hancock rode up, and, seemingly 
addressing the entire regiment, asked : " Can you Vermont 
men take those guns ? " The commander of the regiment, 
Colonel Randall, replied : " We ll try, General." Then fol 
lowed the command forming five companies for a charge, then the charge. Com 
pany A was in the lead and in command of Captain John Lonergan, who describes 
the succeeding events as follows : 

" My company reached the guns first, and placing my hand upon the nearest gun, 
I ordered the enemy to surrender. All this time the whole regiment was under 
severe fire, with men falling all along the entire charge ; but we reached the guns 
comparatively together and in good form. The Confederates obeyed my summons 
to surrender, after which my men lay down their guns and taking hold of the 
wheels of the gun carriages, began moving them to a new position where they could 
be utilized. 

"Meanwhile I noticed that we were sustaining much damage from firing that 
came from the Codories House in our front. And so ordering my command to pick 
up their guns, we made a charge on the house. We quickly surrounded the build 
ing, the men at once covering the windows and doors with their guns, so that no 
man should escape. Then I stepped to the front door, and knocking it in, I ordered: 
Surrender ! Fall out here, every damned one of you ! 

"My order was obeyed almost instantly, for the Confederates came tumbling out, 
led by their commanding officer, until we had eighty-three men as prisoners. The 
officer in command handed me his sword and each man laid down his gun until I 
had a considerably larger number of men as prisoners, than I had in my entire com 
mand. When all was over for the day General Stannard sent for me, and upon my 
arrival, he said : Captain, you did well to-day, but do you know you violated all 
military laws in capturing those prisoners in the Codories House ? 



2d Lieutenant, Fifteenth Ind. X. Y., Lt. Battery. 
Born in New York City. 

batteries, which was doing heavy execution 
on the Union line of battle. This artillery 
duel was of brief duration. The enemy was 
compelled to withdraw. A heavy column of 
infantry was now advancing on the brave New 
Yorkers, who then directed their fire on the 
advancing columns, repulsing the rebels. A 
second attack was made and for a second time 
the enemy was obliged to retreat before the 
deadly fire of the well served battery. When 
a third attack was made and frustrated, the 
battery s ammunition was exhausted and Cap 
tain Hart withdrew to a distance of about one 
mile in good order. 

Lieutenant Knox s behavior during these 
struggles was admirable and highly appreciated 
by his captain, who pays him the above men 
tioned tribute. The lieutenant himself says 
of his experience on that eventful day : 

" My battery galloped into Peach Orchard, by order of General Hunt, who, point 
ing in the direction of the orchard, said: Go in there. Rush! I was junior 
officer, and with Captain Hart, the only officer there. As we went in, the captain 
shouted : Lieutenant, you fight the right section. I will look out for the left. My 
speed had carried me fully 100 yards ahead of the artillery line on the left (the Sixth 
and Ninth Massachusetts Batteries,) and of my own left section. The Confederates 
thought they had my guns and made a dash for them. As they came, I let go both 
pieces with double canister, and as I did so, I yelled to my boys to lay down and 
pretend that they were done for. And thus, not heeding us, the Johnnies swept 
through my section to meet a charge from the support in our rear, the Seventy- 
second New York Infantry I think. Then, repulsed and driven back, they came 
back more rapidly than they came in. After they had again passed over us, 
we got up and with our prolonges and the assistance of the infantry boys, hauled 
our guns back. 

" I lost seven men and eleven horses ; the battery, eight men and thirteen horses. 
I w r as myself severely wounded in this action ; and the next day, at the time of 
Pickett s charge on our front, I was shot, a round musket ball passing through both 
hips. Although the latter wound made me an invalid for the next eighteen months, 
I received my commission as first lieutenant of the Fourteenth Independent New 
York Light Battery. I was never physically able, however, to be mustered or serve 



IT was during the repulse of Pickett s charge at Gettysburg, that Sergeant Frederick 
Fuger of Battery A, Fourth United States Artillery, displayed the gallantry for 
which he was awarded the Medal of Honor. 

The battery, commanded by First Lieutenant A. H. Gushing, was posted behind a 
stone wall in what afterward became known as the "Bloody Angle." 

At 1 o clock on the afternoon of July 3d, the enemy s artillery, commanded by Gen 
eral Armistead, opened along the whole line, and for an hour and a quarter the artillery 
brigade of the Federal Second Corps was subjected to a very warm artillery fire. 

At first the Union batteries made no reply, till the fire of the enemy became too 
terrible, when they returned it, till all their ammunition except canister had been 
expended. Within less than two hours the enemy had silenced the Rhode Island 
battery and all the guns but one of Cushing s battery. They then followed up this 
concentrated fire upon the Union lines by an infantry attack. 

At three o clock they left the woods in line of battle and, under a fire from 
Wheeler s Battery and Cushing s gun, formed in front of the several lines of battle 
and slowly but surely advanced for the attack. Steadily they approached the stone 
wall. General Armistead with several hundred of his Virginia troops charged across 
the stone wall and came directly upon Cushing s battery. Double and triple charges 
of canister were poured into the ranks of the advancing enemy, making frightful 
gaps in their lines, and by the time they had reached the battery, there was not 
much left of them. 

The encounter was one of the bloodiest of the war. In the very middle of the 
battery the fight was continued. Lieutenant Gushing and two officers were instantly 
killed. Sergeant Fuger, the only remaining officer, was left to conduct the battery s 
struggle. He bravely held his ground and aided materially to the final defeat of 
the daring rebels. During the fighting around the guns, General Armistead fell 
mortally wounded, and almost his whole command was either killed or wounded. 

Battery A s loss was forty-five out of ninety-three men killed and wounded and 
eighty-three out of ninety horses killed. The guns of the battery were turned over 
to the ordnance department the next day as unserviceable. 

Sergeant Fuger s conduct at this engagement was highly praised by his superior 
officers and found immediate recognition by a promotion to the rank of a second 


* ^5 




Sergeant. Co. A. 140th Penn. Vol. 
Highest rank attained: Captain. 

TVo gallant actions, one performed at Gettysburg and 
the other a year later, are thus recalled by Sergeant 
John M. Pipes of the One hundred and fortieth Penn 
sylvania Volunteers. 

" On the afternoon of July 3, 1863, our brigade charged 
across a wheat field and engaged the enemy in the woods 
south of it. Taking advantage of our exposed position far 
in advance of our line, the enemy, under General Long- 
street, poured a deadly fire upon our flank. Our little 
brigade had lost more than half its men and nearly all its 
officers, and had begun to waver and fall back before I 
could fully realize the situation. Standing at the right of 
my company, a step or two in front, firing as rapidly as I 
could, I saw that most of our men were getting across the 
field toward the main line, while the Twenty-fourth 
Georgia Infantry, crossing from the woods, was close 
upon us. Lieutenant J. J. Purman, of my company, was 
standing near me. 

"The question confronted us: shall we be captured or take the slim chance of 
crossing that field ? Of course we took the chance. We had hardly started when a 
wounded comrade pleaded to be taken off the field, as he could not rise. The rebels, 
who were very close upon us, called: Halt, you damned Yankees, halt. We how 
ever, carried this comrade some thirty or forty steps and placed him behind some 
large boulders where he would have protection from the fire from both sides, and 
from being trampled upon. 

"This occupied but a few moments, but the delay was fatal to our attempt to 
cross the wheat field. We had just started on a good double-quick, when Lieutenant 
Purman called out: I am hit ! I was then but a few steps from him, and the next 
moment I received a wound in the leg, and replied: I am wounded too. Realizing 
that I could not aid the lieutenant, having only one sound leg, I thought goodbye 
comrades, and, using my gun for a crutch, commenced to hop off the battle-field, 
but had only gotten a few paces, when to my surprise, I found myself right among 
the Confederates. 

"Our flank was captured, taken to the rear, and put in an old barn, then used by 
the enemy as a temporary hospital. We remained in their hands until the next 
morning, when our forces advanced and recaptured us, taking a good number of 
Confederates at the same time. I was carried on a stretcher to the tents of the 
Second Corps hospital, established in the woods, where I found Lieutenant Purman, 
who had been wounded by my side, and whose leg had been amputated. 


"ON AUGUST 24, 1864, at Ream s Station Virginia, two divisions of Hancock s 
Corps having torn up and destroyed several miles of railroad, a detail was sent out 
on picket duty for the night. Being captain and ranking officer, the command 
devolved upon me," Captain Pipes narrates in describing his second experience. "We 
were on duty all night, and the next day during the fight the enemy attempted to 
flank us, causing my command to become uneasy and fear capture. I saw clearly 
that to remain meant capture with serious loss, so finally assumed responsibility, 
and moved my men by the left flank back across the railroad, ordering them to lie 
down there while I reconnoitered. 


"I discovered that our forces had left their positions, so I returned and led my 
command at the double-quick to a depression, where I ordered them to lie down 
again. I had been there but a few minutes, when a battery of the enemy unlim- 
bered and opened a terrific fire upon us. They soon had the range and would have 
destroyed us, had not I ordered the command back up the hill at a lively gait. Near 
the top an officer came galloping up to me and said: Captain Pipes, if you will 
take in your men on the left and help check the enemy in their flank movement, I ll 
see that you will get credit. 


"Moving some distance I deployed my men as skirmishers and led them in what 
was supposed to be the direction of the command. Then I ordered them to move 
forward, taking care to avail themselves of any protection they might find. Shortly 
afterward the command was given, cease firing to enable us to discover the situa 
tion of our men and that of the enemy. While looking out under the smoke, when 
the fire of the enemy had abated, I received a wound through the right arm, shatter 
ing it from near the shoulder down to the elbow. The fight at this time seemed to 
be nearly over, and with the assistance of two comrades, I was able to lead my com 
mand back to the woods, where I ran across my regiment. My ride in an ambulance 
for ten miles that night was a memorable one. The dangling arm was amputated 
the next day at City Point, Va." 




Major, 19th Mass. Inf. 
Highest rank attained: Lieut.-Col 

HE Nineteenth Massachusetts Infantry was ex 
posed to the full force of Lee s artillery fire 
during the afternoon of July 3d, at Gettysburg. 
After the suspension of that fire, it was advanced and 
obliqued to the left, and placed in part behind the 
famous "Pile of Rails." When Longstreet s infantry 
advance had fully developed, the regiment was with 
drawn from that position and momentarily held in 
reserve. About two or three minutes after reaching 
the reserve position, a break in General Webb s Bri 
gade occurred, and the enemy s battle flags appeared in 
the gap made by the break. That was the crisis of the 
battle on that wing of the Union Army. Major Edmund 
Rice, of the Nineteenth Massachusetts Infantry, fully 
appreciated the danger of the situation. 

"Boys," he shouted to his men, "follow me !" And away he dashed in the direc 
tion of the Confederate battle flags. The "boys" did not desert their major, but 
joined in the race to a man. They were followed by a part of the Seventh Michigan 
and Forty-second New York Infantry. Major Rice kept the lead and was the first 
one to come in contact with the surprised enemy. The clash of the two bodies of 
troops was fierce. Brave Major Rice was among the first ones wounded, which fact 
however did not prevent him from maintaining his command. The desperate hand- 
to-hand struggle which his fearless initiative had inaugurated, gave General Webb s 
Brigade time to rally, expel the enemy from the gap in the Union line, and decide 
the battle in favor of the Union arms. Major Rice s regiment lost three-fourths of 
its force during the fight, but the victorious survivors returned with the captured 
colors of four rebel regiments. 




Sergeant, Co. C, 19th Massachusetts Infantry. 

*~ Nineteenth Massachusetts Infantry has an 
interesting story to tell of his experience at the 
battle of Gettysburg. He says : 

"We arrived on the field of Gettysburg the 
night of the first day of July. The next day we 
were ordered to the left, in the rear of the Third 
Corps to rally it, as it had been broken and was 
coming in in bad shape. We were too late, and 
our charge, made in an attempt to save the bat 
tery in front of us, was in vain. The rebels got 
there first, turned the battery on us, so that we 
were forced to fall back. As my company was 
the sixth in line, we were left in charge of the 

colors. In retreating, I was crowded into the color-guard, and soon found myself 
in front of the colors. Presently the color-bearer was shot ; I picked up the colors 
and was at once made sergeant. 

" On the third day we lay on Cemetery Ridge, and while the officers were eating 
their dinner in the rear of the colors, the first shell that the rebels fired went into 
the mess and killed Lieutenant Robertson . The next shell hit one of our gun stacks. 
Then the colonel ordered to break stacks. The dance now commenced. The Nine 
teenth Massachusetts was supporting the New York Independent Battery, which by 
this time had lost all its men except the captain, one lieutenant and one sergeant. 
The captain came into our regiment bare-headed, with both hands in his hair, and 
called out : For God s sake, men, volunteer to work these guns ; don t let this 
battery be silent. 

" I was lying on the ground, the colors by my side, and Lieutenant Shackly next 
to me. Shackly said : Come, Jellison, let s go and help, we might just as well get 
killed there as here. 

" All right, said I, and so I carried my ammunition from the limber to the guns. 
The colonel saw me and ordered me back to the colors. The shelling had now 
stopped, and an old general riding past, called to us : Get into line, boys, they are 
coming. Upon that, the colonel ordered me on the ridge and gave orders to rally 
on the colors. We then charged to the fence near by, and some got over. 

" Lieutenant Shackly was again at my side. Ben, he remarked this time, see 
the rebel flag ? Let s get it. He pointed to our front, and the next moment I lost 
him. I rushed forward and succeeded in capturing the flag, and besides assisted in 
taking quite a number of prisoners. With the Stars and Stripes flying over my head, 
and carrying the captured flag, I retreated." 

Painted by P. Wilhelmi. 




T^VURING the battle of Gettysburg, on the after- 
*-^ noon of July 3d, General Kilpatrick ordered 
General Farnsworth to charge on the right flank of 
the enemy in front of both Round Tops, and desig 
nated Major William Wells to lead the Second 
Battalion of the First Vermont Cavalry in the 

The charge was made : Major Wells at the head 
of his brave Vermonters with General Farnsworth 
riding by his side. At the outset, the Union forces 
suffered a severe loss. General Farnsworth was 
struck by a ball and instantly killed. There was 
no interruption in the attack, however. The death 
of the gallant general only served to stimulate 
Major Wells and his men to still more determined action. 

With disregard to a most galling fire the major led his batallion over the stone 
wall against the superior hostile force and drove the foe in all directions. He fol 
lowed in pursuit, cleared another wall and dashed across a field swept by the rebel 
batteries, piercing the enemy s second line. A fresh regiment of rebels, sent from 
the right to intercept some retreating Union troops, was encountered on a little hill. 
Then there was a desperate fight for the possession of the hill. Major Wells carried 
it, and took the greater part of the rebel regiment prisoners. It was a wonderful 
charge, crowned with brilliant success, and showed Major Wells to be a most dash 
ing cavalry officer. 


Major, 1st Vermont Cavalry. 

Highest rank attained: Bvt.-Maj.-Gen., U. S. V. 

Born in Waterbury, Vt., 1838. 


WHEELOCK G. VEAZEY, shortly after his promotion from the Third Vermont to 
the colonelcy of the Sixteenth Vermont, was carried by the tide of war to 
the famous Pennsylvania battlefield, where his regiment attained a reputation 
second to none. This regiment occupied, on the third day of Gettysburg, the front 
of Stannard s Brigade, in the left center of the Union line. In this advanced position 
it received the first shock of Pickett s charge. It was a tremendous attack, but the 
assailants were forced to surge off to the right, and the regiment commanded by 
Colonel Veazey, wheeled out and attacked them on the flank as they went by with 
withering effect, and capturing many prisoners 


At this moment, while the Sixteenth was partly broken, another column Wil- 
cox s and Perry s Brigades came rushing along toward its flank and rear. Colonel 
Veazey quickly grasped the situation. He explained his plans to General Stannard. 

"Veazey," cried the general, " your men will do almost anything, but the men 
don t live this side of hell, that can be made to charge down there." But in shorter 
time than it takes to tell it, the regiment had straightened out, reformed, and made 
another change of front in the very center of the field, where the battle raged in 
its greatest fury, and men were falling every instant. 

" I stepped to the front," says Colonel Veazey, " and called upon the men to 
follow. With a mighty shout the rush forward was made, and, before the enemy 
could change his front, we had struck his flank, and swept down the line, and again 
captured a great number of prisoners. In the two charges my regiment captured 
three stan Is of colors. The last charge brought a heavy artillery fire on us, but we 
lost only 150 out of 400 because the rebels never accurately found our range." 




Captain Co. F, 23d Pennsylvania Infantry 

Highest rank attained: Major. 
Born in Philadelphia, Pa., Oct. 26, 1830. 

the battle of Gettysburg many were the 
exigencies and tremendous responsibilities that 
confronted the general officers in each army. Tn 
most instances, also, they were met and disposed of 
with all loyalty, patriotism and bravery. 

It was on the day before the demonstration known 
as Pickett s charge, that Captain John B. Fassitt of 
Company F, Twenty -third Pennsylvania Infantry, dis 
played his courage, his quick mind, action and will 
ingness to shoulder great responsibility. On the day 
of the Peach Orchard struggle, shortly after Major- 
General Daniel E. Sickles had received the wound which later cost him a leg, that 
Battery I, of the Fifth United States Artillery, was captured by the Confederates. 
Captain Fassitt, at the time was senior aide to General Birney, who, General Sickles 
having been carried off the field, was in command of the Third Army Corps. Fassitt 
had just completed the work of reforming Humphrey s Division on Cemetery Ridge 
after it had been driven back from Blodensburg Road, and was returning to the left 
line to report to General Birney, when he saw Lieutenant Samuel Peoples of Battery 
I, standing on a rock looking to the front. Thereupon Captain Fassitt asked the 
lieutenant why he was not with his battery, and the lieutenant answered : "Because 


it has just been captured." And then pointing toward his battery, the lieutenant 
continued: "And if those Confederates are able to serve my guns, those troops you 
have just been forming on the ridge, won t stay there a minute." 

Captain Fassitt, instantly comprehending the fact that the battery could direct 
an enfilading fire on Cemetery Ridge, and recognizing that ridge as the key to the 
Federal position, he rode rapidly to the nearest troops the Thirty-ninth New York 
Infantry and ordered Major Hillebrandt, the commanding officer, to retake the 

"By whose orders?" asked the major. 

The captain replied : "By order of General Birney." 

"I am in General Hancock s Corps," responded the major. 

To this the captain said : " Then I order you to take those guns, by order of 
General Hancock." 


At this, Ma 
jor Hillebrandt 
moved his regi 
ment by flank with 
superb alacrity, and when 

opposite the battery, he ordered a charge. Captain Fassitt not only helped to move 
the regiment by the flank, but, being the only mounted officer, also assisted in the 
assault. The Confederates were not willing to give up the battery and position 
without a struggle and the fight was a three one. As the Federal line reached the 
Confederates, one of them seized the bridle of Captain Fassitt s horse while another 
raised his musket fair into the face of the mounted man. The captain struck up 
with his sabre just in time to divert the musket ball so that it passed through the 


visor of his cap, and the next instant a member of the Thirty-ninth ran his bayonet 
through the man who delivered the shot, while Fassitt shot down the man holding 
the bridle of his horse. Again free, the captain went on with Major Hillebrandt s 
troops, until they had secured Cemetery Hill for Hancock s use in repulsing 



Captain, Troop H, 3rd Penn. 


Born at West Hill, Cumberland 
Co., Penn. 

CEDERAL and Confederate cavalry were hotly engaged 
during the last day s fighting at Gettysburg, July 3d. 
There were skirmishes, charges, counter-charges from 
noon till nightfall during that most eventful day. Some 
times it would seem as if the enemy would gain an advan 
tage, when the Union cavalry would rally and with 
renewed vigor wrest from them the victory which the 
rebels believed to be already within their grasp. And 
thus the fighting continued for hours with varying success, 
until at dark the Confederate cavalry retired to a position 
behind their artillery, leaving the Federals masters of the 
contested field. 

" Heavy skirmishing," says General Gregg, referring to this cavalry fight, "was 
maintained by the Third Pennsylvania Cavalry with the enemy and was con 
tinued until nightfall. During the engagement a portion of this regiment made a 
very handsome and successful charge upon one of the enemy s regiments." 

General Gregg s flattering mention of the "handsome charge," refers to the 
gallant feat of Captain William E. Miller of Troop H, who by this deed became the 
hero of his regiment and the recipient of the precious Medal of Honor. 
The captain himself describes the charge as follows: 

"Our regiment had been ordered forward, and my squadron was deployed along 
the edge of the woods, with orders to hold that position. We had nothing to do with 
the first part of the fight, but when a Virginia regiment approached, we opened fire 
on them and succeeded in holding them in check. A flank fire also opened on them, 
and they were obliged to fall back on their main body. 

"Suddenly there appeared, moving towards us, a mass of cavalry formed in close 
column squadrons. They rode with well aligned front and steady reins, their pol 
ished sabres glittering in the sun. Shell and shrapnel tore through their ranks, but 
they closed up the gaps and came on as steadily as ever. As they drew nearer, our 


artillery-men substituted canister for shrapnel, and horses and men went down by 
scores. Still they came on, and our cavalry fell into line and prepared for a charge. 

"As the columns approached each other, each increased its pace until they 
came together with a crash like the falling of timber. So violent was the collision 
that many of the horses were turned over, crushing their riders under them. The 
clashing of sabres, firing of pistols, and the cries of the combatants filled the air. 

" My squadron was still deployed, and I was standing with Lieutenant William 
Brooke-Rawle on a little rising ground in front. Seeing that the situation was 
becoming critical, I said to him: I have been ordered to hold this position, but I 
will order a charge if you will back me up in case I am court-martialed for diso- 


bedience. The lieutenant enthusiastically promised that he would stand by me. As 
soon as the line was formed, our men fired a volley from their carbines, drew their 
sabres, and charged, striking the enemy s left flank about two-thirds down the column. 
" We broke through the Confederate column, cut off the rear portion and drove 
it back ; but in the charge my men became somewhat scattered, and were even 
unable to capture an unsupported rebel battery which was standing only 100 yards 
away. The flank attack demoralized the Confederate column, and it was driven 
back to its former position, leaving us in possession of the field." 




"THE brunt of the Confederate onslaught, on 
* the second day of the battle of Gettysburg, 
was directed against General Sickles extreme 
left, held by General Ward of General Birney s 
Division, whose three brigades extended their 
line from the Round Tops across the Devil s 
Den to and beyond the Peach Orchard. At 
first the Federals, after a bitter contest, were 
forced to yield to the superior strength of the 
enemy and retreated. Then the Union troops 
received re-enforcements and made a stand 
against the advancing Confederates near the 
Little Round Top. Here a most terrible strug 
gle took place. At all points the ground was 
contested stubbornly. The odds were against 
the Federals, but in the face of heavy losses 
they fought with a bravery rarely equalled. In 
this contest the Sixth Pennsylvania Reserves 
was an important factor in General Birney s 
Division to which it belonged. It not only 
distinguished itself with the balance of the 
Union Army during the heat of the battle, but 
some of its individual members performed deeds 
of daring and valor which contributed toward 
the final success of that day as far as the attack 
on this wing of the Union Army was concerned. 
No more conspicuous deed was there, how 
ever, than that which was performed by Ser 
geant John W. Hart of Company D, Sergeant 
George W. Mears of Company A, Corporals 
J. Levi Roush and Chester S. Furman, the 
former of Company D, the latter of Company A, 
and two others, all members of the afore 
mentioned gallant regiment. The occasion 
was this : As the battle was raging at its 

height, the Union troops stationed near Devil s Den, suffered especially from 
a concentrated and well-directed fire, which was difficult at first to locate. It was 
finally, however, traced to a small log house nearby. Here a number of sharpshooters 


.-ergeant. Co. I),r>th Pa. Reserves. 
Born in Germany. 


Corporal, Co. D, Oth Pa. Reserves. 
Born in Woodlmry, Pa., Feb. 11, 1838. 


x mcuiit, Co. A. Gth Pa. Reserves. 

Born in Bloomsburg, Pa. 


Corporal, Co. A, Oth Pa. Reserves. 

Born in Bloomsburg, Pa., Feb. 14, 1842. 


had fortified themselves and were pouring their volleys into the Union ranks with 
deadly accuracy. The necessity to stop this source of destruction became imperative. 
The colonel of the Sixth Pennsylvania Reserves placed his regiment at the disposal 
of the commanders to accomplish this task. His offer being accepted, the colonel at 
once asked for volunteers. Pointing to the log house in the distance he said : " Are 
any of you men willing to drive those rebels out of that place there ? " He did not 
have to wait long for a reply. The six men mentioned at once stepped forward and 
volunteered. The colonel s face beamed with pride and satisfaction as he saw the 


brave fellows respond to his call. Subsequently the six made an attack upon the log 
house. Cautiously and slowly they crept up to the place, but did not get very far. 
before they were discovered. Then they made a dash, a run, a break for the hut, all 
the while facing a heavy fire from the rebels. However, they escaped injury and 
reached the log house unhurt. They knocked down the barricades at the door with 
the butts of their rifles, and then with levelled guns demanded the surrender of the 
men on the inside. The Pennsylvanians gave their opponents no time for hesitation 
or doubt. Determination was written on the face of each of the brave six. The 
alternative was: immediate surrender or death. The rebels preferred the former 
and thus became the prisoners of the gallant little band of Union heroes. 




Colonel, 2()th Maine Infantry. 

Highest rank attained: Brig.-Gen., U. S. V. 

Born in. Brewer, Maine, Sept. 8, 1828. 

\TEVER had a bayonet charge more effective 
* ^ results than had that of the Twentieth Maine 
Volunteers, on the slope of Little Hound Top, at 
Gettysburg, July 2, 1863. It not only saved the 
position of the Union troops, but compelled General 
Lee to change his whole plan of attack. The 
incident is thus described by Colonel Joshua L. 
Chamberlain, commanding the Twentieth 
Maine : 

" My regiment held the extreme left of the 
Union lines, at Gettysburg. The enemy was 
shelling the whole crest heavily, and moving a 
large force to seize this commanding height, 
while we were rushing up to get the position 
ourselves. We had scarcely got our troops 
into something like a line among the rocks of 
the southern slope, when the enemy s assault 
struck us. It was a hard hand-to-hand fight, 

swaying back and forth under successive charges and counter-charges, for an hour. 
I had been obliged to throw my left wing back at a right-angle or more in order to 
hold the ground at all. 

"As it was a sort of echelon attack, the enemy was constantly coming up on my 
left, and outflanking me. The losses in my regiment were very heavy. In the 
center of the apex of the angle, made by throwing back the left wing, the color- 
guard was shot ,away, the color-company and that next to it lost nearly half their 
number, and more than a third of my regiment was disabled. We had, in the lull 
of the fight, thrown together a low line of loose rocks that were scattered about the 
ground, and the men were taking such shelter as they could behind these, though 
they could do this only by lying down and firing over them. This helped us but 
little ; it served chiefly to mark the line we were bound to maintain. 

"At last I saw a heavy force that had just come up over the opposite slopes of 
Great Round Top, coining on to envelop our left. They were close to us, advancing 
rapidly, and iiring as they came. We had expended our last round of cartridges, and 
had been gathering what we could from the cartridge-boxes of the dead and dying, 
friend and foe. We met this fresh force with these cartridges, but at the critical 
moment, when the enemy were within fifty feet of us, our fire fell to nothing. Every 
round was gone. 

"Knowing the supreme importance of holding this ground, which covered the 
flank of Hazlett s Battery on the summit and gave a clear enfilading and rear fire 



upon the whole force holding Little Round Top, I saw no other way to save it, or 
even ourselves, but to charge with the bayonet. The on-coining force evidently 
outnumbered us three or four to one, but it was the last resort. 

" Giving the order to charge, I placed myself beside the colors at the apex of our 
formation, sent word to the senior officer on my left to make a right wheel of the 
charge and endeavor to catch the enemy somewhat in flank on their right. Then we 
sprang down the rocky slope into the presence of the astonished foe. I came directly 
upon an officer commanding the center of the opposing line. He attempted to fire 
a pistol in my face, but my sabre point was at his throat, and instantly he turned 
the butt of his pistol and the hilt of his sword, and surrendered. His whole line 
began to throw down their arms likewise. My officers were also in the line with the 

" This charge was successful beyond all my hopes. We not only cleared our own 
front, but, by the right wheel, cleared the front of the entire brigade on our right, 
and also the whole ground between Little and Great Round Top. We took twice as 
many prisoners as we had men in our ranks, and found 150 of the enemy s dead in 
our front. These were of the Fifteenth, Forty-seventh and Fourth Alabama, and 
the Fifth Texas regiments. 

" The result of this movement, beyond question, was the saving of Hazlett s Bat 
tery, and, in fact, Round Top itself, to our troops. It now appears that it also 
changed Lee s plans for his attack of the next day which had been intended to be a 
crushing blow on our left again, but was abandoned for Pickett s charge on the 
center. The honors belong to my regiment." 



A MONG the comrades of Company A, One-hundred 
** and eighth New York Infantry, Corporal William 
H. Raymond s physique was the subject of a standing 
joke. He was so lean and lanky, that it was observed 
that he was altogether too thin to even cast a shadow 
or offer sufficient surface for a decent target. These 
jokes were good-naturedly borne by the corporal, until 
an incident occurred during the battle of Gettysburg, 
when Corporal Raymond accomplished a task, where 
h e showed that his physique came in good stead and 
besides displayed such courage and daring that ever 

afterward the joke about his being "too thin" was on the other fellow. Corporal 

Raymond s own words of the incident referred to, follow : 


Corporal, Co. A. lOSth New York Infantry. 

Born at penfieMonoe Co., N. Y., 


"Early in the morning of July 3d, my regiment, the One-hundred and eighth 
New York Volunteer Infantry, was sent to the skirmish line in our immediate front. 
Company A, to which I belonged, had eighteen men present in line for duty. 

" The skirmish line, which was entirely destitute of anything in the way of pro 
tection, which was also true of the ground between Ziegler s Grove and our line, 
while the rebel skirmish line was behind and along a rail fence, not more than 
fifteen or twenty rods in our front, from which we received a very hot fire while 
going into position. Before reaching it the orderly-sergeant of my company was 
wounded and Lieutenant Ostrander appointed me orderly-sergeant. 


"During the engagement our men were running short of ammunition and I 
advised them to use the cartridges from the dead and wounded, but these did not 
last long. I, therefore, reported to Lieutenant Ostrander, who told me to make a 
detail and send for a fresh supply. This duty was extremely hazardous, and I 
doubted whether it could be done without the sacrifice of life. 

" Under such circumstances I hesitated to make the detail, and suggested a call 
for volunteers. The lieutenant s reply came : I don t care how it is done, as long 
as you obtain the ammunition. On calling for volunteers no one responded, where 
upon I volunteered to go myself and started for our lines. Here I stated my errand. 


" Lieutenant- Colonel Pierce, who had command of the regiment, sent for a supply, 
and upon its arrival, said. Raymond, you have taken your share of risk, let some 
one else take this down to the skirmish line. I said that it might as well be myself 
as anyone else. The chances were talked over rapidly, and appeared poor enough. 
Nearly every officer present with the regiment, and many of the men bade me good 
bye, the opinion being freely expressed, that I could not get back to the skirmish 
line alive. However, I took a box of ammunition of 1,000 rounds, and carried it 
down to the line, arriving there unhurt, though I had seven holes shot through my 


HENRY D. O BRIEN of Company 
E, First Minnesota Infantry, received 
his Medal of Honor for two acts of gallantry 
at the battle of Gettysburg. On July 2d, 
1863, the First Minnesota was ordered by 
General Hancock to charge the Confederate 
forces, who were driving in the Third Corps. 
The regiment numbered 262, officers and 
men, when it went into that desperate 
charge, but when it came out, 215 had 
been killed and wounded. The charge 
had its due effect, however, for the enemy s 
line was broken, his advance stopped, and 
a large number of prisoners taken. While 
the Minnesota regiment was withdrawing 
from between the two fires, O Brien noticed 
one of his comrades, E. R. Jefferson, drop, 
shot through the leg. He picked up his 
wounded comrade on his back, and was 
carrying him to a place of safety, when a 

ball struck his cartridge box plate, throwing him to the ground. Undaunted by 
this, he sprang to his feet, raised the wounded man and carried him to the rear 
without further injury. 

On the following day, when Pickett made his gallant but futile charge, O Brien 
had another occasion to display his heroism. The story is well told in the official 
report of the commanding officer of the First Minnesota : "Corporal Dehn, the last 
of our color -guard, then carrying our tattered flag, was shot through the hand, and 
the flagstaff cut in two. Corporal Henry D. O Brien of Company E, instantly seized 


Corporal, Co. E, 1st Minnesota Infantry. 
Born at Colois, Maine, Jan. 21, 1812. 


the flag by the remnant of the staff. Whether the command to charge was given 
by any general officer, I do not know. My impression was, that it came as a spon 
taneous outburst from the men, and instantly the line precipitated itself upon the 
enemy. O Brien, who held the broken staff and tatters of our battle flag, with his 
characteristic bravery and impetuosity sprang with it to the front at the first sound 
of the word charge/ and ran right up to the enemy s line, keeping the flag noticeably 
in advance of every other color. My feeling, at the instant, blamed his rashness in so 
risking its capture, but the effect was electrical. Every man of the First Minnesota 
sprang to protect the flag, and the rest rushed with them upon the enemy. The 
bayonet was used for a few minutes, and cobble stones, with which the ground was 
well covered, filled the air, being thrown by those in the rear over the heads of their 
comrades. The struggle, desperate and deadly while it lasted, was soon over. Cor 
poral O Brien received two wounds in the final melee at the moment of the victory." 
In this charge O Brien was twice wounded in the head and the left hand, but he 
carried his colors through the fight. In the charge of the previous day, he received 
a bayonet w^oimd in the side. 


T^HE Third Division of the Eleventh Corps was commanded by General Carl 
* Schurz and known as "Howard s German Army." Attached to it was the 
Forty-fifth New York Infantry, under command of Colonel George Van Amsberg, 
composed of soldiers of German blood. This regiment distinguished itself during 
the initiatory fighting at the battle of Gettysburg, every man displaying great 
bravery and daring. Captain Francis Irsch, of Company D, especially manifested 
such skill and intrepidity that a Medal of Honor was awarded him. 

The regiment arrived at Gettysburg at 11 A. M., after a double-quick march of 
several miles, some time in advance of the Eleventh Corps. Captain Irsch was im 
mediately ordered to relieve Buford s Division, which was slowly retiring before 
General Henry Heth s Confederate forces. 

As Captain Irsch, in pursuance of his orders, was cautiously and steadily moving 
forward, he came in contact with Major Blackford s Alabama sharpshooters and 
two Confederate batteries planted on Oak and Benness Hills. The enemy s fire did 
considerable execution and Captain Irsch was forced to seek cover and wait for 
re-enforcements. When the balance of the regiment and Dilger s Ohio Battery 
came dashing to his support, the attack on the two rebel batteries was renewed and 
carried on effectively. General Ewell, however, observed the small number of the 
Union troops and a large gap in their line and ordered O Neil s Alabama and Iver- 
son s North Carolina Brigade to make a dash, break through the Union lines and 


gain possession of the town of Oak Hill and of the division of the two Union corps. 
Iverson, however, either misunderstood the order or was belated, and O Neil s 
stealthy movement toward the Mummasberg Road along a covered lane at the base 
of Oak Hill, was discovered by Captain Irsch just in time to advise Captain Dilger s 
Battery and the other regiments. Dilger s battery poured double shotted shrapnel into 
the ranks of the advancing Alabamians who, at the same time, were received with a 
galling fire from the Twelfth and Thirteenth Massachusetts, who, by that time, had 
faced about to cover the breach and meet the attack. The Alabamians became dis 
ordered and staggered back upon the rear regiments of the brigade. Captain Irsch 
no sooner perceived the predicament of the rebels when he concluded that the time 
for a bold stroke had come. He ordered a charge and soon drove the Alabamians 
pell-mell again forward on the Twelfth and Thirteenth Massachusetts. The greater 
part of three regiments of the rebel brigade surrendered with their battle-flags. 
Another part had fortified itself in McLean s barn and from there kept up a galling 
fire. Captain Irsch made a rush for the barn and stormed it, capturing about one 
hundred more prisoners. Iverson s Brigade of North Carolinians arrived too late 
and met with a similar fate. 

When later in the day General Early turned the right of the Eleventh Corps 
and was threatening Steinwehr s Second Division on Cemetery Hill, the general 
break up of the First and Eleventh Corps came. The Union troops poured into 
the town of Gettysburg, hotly pursued by the Confederates. Baxter s Brigade 
of the First and Schimmelpfennig s of the Eleventh Corps frequently held the 
victorious enemy at bay and carried their desperate resistance right into the 
streets of the town. Gun carriages, ambulances, the wounded and the dead blocked 
the way and made further resistance impossible. The regiments broke up into small 
commands, each endeavoring to escape and reach Cemetery Hill as best they 
could. Captain Irsch s Battalion remained intact till Chambersburg Street was 
reached, which they cleared to the right and left almost up to Market Square, where 
a portion of the Forty-fifth with the colors ran through an alley just as the enemy 
was planting a battery on the square. Captain Irsch already had taken possession 
of a block of houses from which he and the remainder of his regiment kept up an 
incessant fire upon the Confederates. Many Union soldiers sought refuge in the 
same block, so that within a short time there were no less than 600 men barricaded 
in these houses. The street defense in that section of the town lasted several hours. 
Toward sundown the Confederates demanded the surrender of the gallant little band. 
Captain Irsch was permitted to leave the temporary defense under a flag of truce 
and satisfy himself that no succor was in sight and that further resistance was use 
less. He was escorted to the outskirts of the town and was soon convinced that 
nothing could be gained by further bloodshed. After a consultation with the other 
officers the men were ordered to destroy their arms and ammunition and surrender. 
Captain Irsch was sent to Libby prison. He made one escape, was recaptured and 
sent back again behind the walls of this dismal place of confinement. 




Servant, Co. D, 101th Illinois Infantry. 
Bom at Brooklield, La Salic Co., 111., is:js. 

Rosecrans campaign against Bragg, in Ten- 
nessee, Sergeant George K. Marsh commanded 
the " forlorn hope " of ten volunteers, sent to capture 
the rebel stockade at Elk River, Tenn., July 2, 1863. 
It had been reported to General John Beatty, com 
manding the Union troops, that the rebels had burned 
the bridge over the Elk River and taken position with 
their artillery and infantry on the bluffs beyond. Gen 
eral Beatty describes the situation as follows: 

"Riding forward, I discovered the enemy s cavalry 
and infantry across the river, and his artillery in 
position ready to open on us whenever the head of 
our column should make its appearance in the turn of 
the road. Seeing that it would be useless to expose 

my infantry, and that artillery alone would be effectual in dislodging him, I hurried 
forward Captain Hewett s four guns, and sent back a request for another battery, 
upon which Captain Schultz Battery was sent forward. Without exposing my 
horses and men, so as to draw the enemy s fire, I succeeded in getting ten guns in 
position, before he was aware of it, and opened fire. The enemy replied vigorously, 
but so well were the guns of Captains Hewett and Schultz served, that after about 
forty minutes the enemy retired his artillery double-quick. I then sent forward my 
regiments to the river, shelled the sharpshooters and cavalry from the hills on the 
opposite side, sent a few men to occupy a stockade near the bridge, and drive away 
a few troublesome sharpshooters, who were still concealed in the bluffs." The bal 
ance of the interesting story is best told by Sergeant Marsh himself. He says: 

"We had skirmished all the morning with a light battery supported by infantry, 
who were defending their retreating baggage trains. As we advanced we came 
suddenly to a clearing, on the opposite side of which was a stockade fort plainly 
visible from our position. A short distance to our right the enemy had crossed 
the Elk River on a bridge which they burned to prevent our following. Also, in 
case we should make an attempt to construct a pontoon bridge, they had planted 
a small battery on the opposite side of the stream, and stationed a squad of infantry 
to support it. 

"Our commanding officer saw, that if we were in possession of the stockade, we 
could better cope with the advances of the enemy. He asked me to lead a squad to 
reconnoiter, and if possible, take the stockade. I called out: All who are not afraid, 
fall in! 

" Many offered to go, but I took the first ten who stepped forward, and started 
for the fortification. We deployed and covered the field at a double-quick under a 


heavy fire of musketry and artillery from the other side of the Elk River, and at first 
from the stockade. 

"None of us returned the fire until we had forced an entrance into the stockade, 
then we emptied our rifles into the Confederates, who, upon seeing us enter the fort, 
climbed the stockade on the opposite side and ran up the bank. No one who saw 


us go into the fight expected to see us come out alive, but we did, and without the 
loss of a man." 

Of the ten men who followed Sergeant Marsh in this brilliant charge, the names 
of only six could be obtained. They were John Shapland, Oscar Slagle, Reu 
ben Smalley, Charles Stacey, Richard J. Gage and Samuel F. Holland. Each of 
these was rewarded with a Medal of Honor. The records state that Sergeant Marsh 
received his "for having led a small party at Elk River July 2, 1863, captured a 
stockade and saved the brigade." 



Mich. Cavalry. 
Born in Potter, Yates Co., N. Y., May 25, 1838. 


^ A, Seventh Michigan Cavalry, won his 
medal at the battle of Falling Waters, by 
capturing a flag of the Fifty-fifth Virginia, in 
one of the most dashing charges in the annals 
of the war. He thus describes the incident : 
"On the morning of July 14, 1863, Oust 
er s Michigan Brigade came face to face with 
four brigades of rebel infantry strongly en 
trenched and supported by artillery. This 
was a division of Lee s army which had failed 
to cross the Potomac. Although greatly 
inferior in numbers, the Michigan men 
formed up and attacked them with great 
fury. Our skirmish line was rapidly ap 
proaching the enemy s battery, where Gen 
eral Kilpatrick ordered a charge by the First Battalion of the Seventh Michigan, 
which had been left to support Pennington s Battery. The little battalion which 
comprised only seventy sabres, formed in column of fours, and charged up a lane 
which was occupied by the right of the Confederate line. They dashed through the 
enemy and into the field beyond, where the rebel reserve was drawn up. Unheeding 
the storm of bullets that assailed them, the undaunted little troop dashed into the 
enemy s ranks and cut its w r ay through. 

"Seeing the color-sergeant of the Fifty-fifth Virginia fall wounded, I sprang 
from my horse and seized the colors. As I remounted, I heard the wounded color- 
bearer say : You Yanks have been after that old fiag for a long time, but you 
never got it before. While we were forming up to charge them again from their 
rear, the Confederates threw down their arms, and we marched 400 prisoners from 
the field. 

" General Kilpatrick examined the captured flag, and found on it the names of 
all the great battles of the Army of the Northern Virginia. The guard ordered me 
to join his staff with it for the balance of the day, and in the evening Adjutant 
Briggs wrote an inscription on the margin of the flag, telling how it had been cap 
tured by me." 

Falling Waters, Va. The Confederates under Lee drawn up in line of battle on the crest of a hill, one 
mile and a half from Falling Waters, were attacked July 14, 1863, by Kilpatrick s Third Brigade of the Army 
of the Potomac, and after two hours fighting, completely routed. The rebels lost 1,500 men in killed, 
wounded and prisoners; the Union loss was nominal. 



T T is not often that the government of a great nation 


Lieutenant, Horse Battery M, 2d U. S. 


Highest rank attained: Lieut-Col., U. S. A. 
Born at Buffalo, N. Y., Aug. 8, 1841. 

grants the highest military distinction in its power 
"for distinguished gallantry," when the conspicuous 
service rendered was an act committed in direct diso 
bedience of orders. 

This was done in the case of Lieutenant Carle A. 
Woodruff of Battery M, Second U. S. Artillery, and 
Captain Smith H. Hastings of Troop M, Fifth Michi 
gan Cavalry. 

The facts of the interesting occurrence are given 
in Lieutenant Woodruff s language as follows : 

"Early on the morning of July 24th, we marched 
from Amissville, through Newby s Cross-Roads, and 
struck the flank of one of the corps of Lee s army 
marching from Chester Gap towards Culpepper Court 
House. Our cavalry w 7 as at once deployed, and Bat 
tery M was brought into action to shell the retreat 
ing columns. Some movements on the part of the 

enemy caused General Custer to hastily withdraw his command, and order a return 
to Amissville. Colonel George Gray of the Sixth Michigan Cavalry, with two troops 
of his regiment, two of the Fifth Michigan Cavalry, commanded by Captain S. H. 
Hastings, and my section, two guns of Horse Battery M, constituted the rear guard. 
As we retired Colonel Gray led the way with his squadron, and that of Captain 
Hastings brought up the rear. 

"The enemy saw a chance to cut off our small com- 
mand and pushed General Benning s Brigade around a 
hi}} an( j U p ^} ie ^d O f a dry stream, which crossed the 
only road in our rear. Here they concealed themselves 
waiting for our approach. General Benning thought 
that the trap laid for the Union soldiers was complete. 
He felt confident of capturing not only the guns of my 
batteiy, but also the two squadrons of cavalry. 

" I now thought the rebel general w T rote to General 
Longstreet we had their cannon and cavalry secured as 
there w r as no possible way to Amissville but the road 
occupied by my brigade, all others being excluded by 
s. H. HASTINGS, th e mountain and its spur. General Benning s cal- 

Captain, Troop M. 6th Mich, cavalry. /"nla+irm nii<f"irviprl for thp trail wliir h IIP liar! O 

Highest rank attained: Col. U.S.V. CUiatlOllS llllhdlll Xi, I 

Born at Quincy, Mic-h., Dec. 27. 1SK!, 


carefully planned and set failed of its purpose. As soon as Colonel Gray s squadron 
came within their range the rebels rushed forth from their place of hiding and fired 
a volley at point-blank range. The squadron came dashing back upon us, and in the 
confusion of their flight carried the team of the leading gun with them. The 
horses turned around so sharply that the gun was almost upset. Colonel Gray 
called to me: Cut your traces, abandon your guns, and follow me. I replied: 
I will never leave my guns. 

"We unlimbered and opened fire with canister. Just then Captain Hastings 
came up with his squadron and asked : What do you intend to do, Woodruff ? How 
can I help you? I answered: Dismount some of your men, and support me. 
Another officer galloped up to me at this moment. Colonel Gray, he said, orders 
you to cut your traces and abandon your guns, and we will try to charge through 
the enemy s lines. Again I refused to leave my guns, and turning to my command, 
said : Men, I have received orders to abandon our guns. They all shouted : Never 
lieutenant, we will stay with you, and we will all go to Richmond together. 

"I kept our gun firing while I moved the other with ten horses and the assistance 
of dismounted cavalry, over a piece of marshy ground to my left. Then we opened 
fire with that gun, while we returned with the horses for the other. The pieces were 
moved alternately to the left, a little at a time, until we got them on the flank of 
the enemy, and commanding the bed of the stream they occupied. After about two 
hours of this work, we succeeded in reaching the main body of our command, having 
held off a whole brigade of the enemy. 

"When I reached General Custer, I dismounted, and reported that my men and 
guns were safe. The general, who was lying down at the time, sprang to his fest 
and embraced me. He told me he had sent the First Michigan Cavalry and Hamil 
ton s section of Horse Battery M down the road to try and open communication 
with us. Colonel Gray and his command reported to General Custer after I did, 
having in his retreat described a much larger circle than we." 

Captain Smith H. Hastings of Co. M, Fifth Michigan Cavalry, who shares in a 
large measure in the success of the engagement and likewise was decorated with the 
Medal of Honor, has little to add to Lieutenant Woodruff s version : 

"I heard Woodruff reply to Colonel Gray," says he, "that he would never abandon 
his guns, and rode up to him, asking whether I could help him. 

"Lieutenant Woodruff ran ahead to assist Sergeant Flood in unlimbering our 
gun and shouted, that he wished me to dismount my men and help him out. I did 
not hesitate a moment, but immediately decided to stand by the brave lieutenant." 

Success crowned the united efforts of both officers. Speaking of General Custer, 
to whom Captain Hastings reported, he says : " The general was a mighty pleased 
soldier that evening, because, by disobeying orders, Lieutenant Woodruff, myself 
and our brave comrades had preserved intact the record of General Custer s brigade 
never to have permitted the enemy to capture from it a single piece of artillery." 



noon," writes Private 

William H. Carney of the Fifty-fourth Mas 
sachusetts Volunteers, "we began to draw near Fort 
Wagner under a tremendous cannonading from the 
fleet. When within about a thousand yards of the 
fort we halted and lay flat on the ground waiting 
for the order to charge. 

"The order came, and we had advanced but a 
short distance, when we were opened upon with 
musketry, shell and canister, which mowed down 
our men right and left. When the color-bearer was 
disabled, I threw away my gun and seized the colors, 
making my way to the head of the column, but 
before I reached there, the line had descended the 
embankment into the ditch and was advancing upon 
Fort Wagner itself 

" Going down the embankment our column was 
stanch and full. As we ascended the breastworks 

the ranks showed dreadful gaps made by the enemy s fire. Tn less than twenty 
minutes I found myself alone struggling upon the ramparts, while all around me lay 
the dead and wounded piled one upon another. As I could not go into the fort 
alone, I knelt down, still holding the flag in my hands. The musket balls and grape 
shot were flying all around me, and as they struck, the sand would fly in my face. 
I knew my position was a critical one and wondered how long I should remain undis 

" Finding at last that our force had renewed the attack farther to the right, and 
the enemy s attention was drawn thither, I turned to go, when I discovered a bat 
talion coming toward me on the ramparts. As they advanced in front of me I 
raised my flag and was about to join them, when I noticed that they were enemies. 


Private, filth Massachusetts Infantry. 
Born at Norfolk, Va.. Feb. 2<i, isio. 

Fort Wagner, S. C. The assault upon Fort Wagner, Morris Island, was a feature of the operations 
against the harbor and islands ad joining Charleston, undertaken by Admiral Dahlgreen with the fleet, co-oper 
ating with General Gillmore in charge of the land forces. 

On the 9th of July, Morris Island was attacked by Strong s Brigade. The Confederates were driven 
from all the batteries south of Fort Wagner, and most of the island abandoned to the Union men. On the 
next day an attack upon the fort was made, which resulted in a repulse. Bombardment by the fleet and 
the batteries on the adjacent islands commenced on the morning of the 18th, and, in the evening, a storm 
ing party, led by Colonel Shaw, (Fifty-fourth Massachusetts) succeeded in carrying the fort, with a loss of 
1,500, among whom was the colonel. One hundred and seventy-four of the fort s defenders were killed or 


Instantly winding my colors around the staff, T made my way down the parapet into 
the ditch, which, when I had first crossed it, had been dry, but was now filled with 
water that came to my waist. 

"All the men who had mounted the ramparts with me, were either killed or 
wounded, I being the only one left erect and moving. 

"Upon rising to determine my course to the rear, I was struck by a bullet, but, 
as I was not prostrated by the shot, I continued my course. I had not gone very 
far, however, before I was struck by a second ball. 


"Soon after I met a member of the One-hundredth New York, who inquired if I 
was wounded. Upon my replying in the affirmative, he came to my assistance and 
helped me to the rear. While on our way I was again wounded, this time in the 
head, and my rescuer then offered to carry the colors for me, but I refused to give 
them up, saying that no one but a member of my regiment should carry them. 

" We passed on until we reached the rear guard, where I was put under charge 
of the hospital corps, and sent to my regiment. When the men saw me bringing in 
the colors, they cheered me, and I was able to tell them that the old flag had never 
touched the ground." 




Private, Co. C, -ISth New York Infantry. 
Born in London, England, August :;, IM:J. 

*-* Forty-eighth New York Infantry, was 
only twenty years old, when he earned his 
Medal of Honor. It was awarded to him for 
risking his life to save his comrades from 
being shot down by their own supports, and 
afterwards, when his arm had been shattered, 
saving the regimental colors from falling 
into the hands of the enemy. 

"On the evening of July 18th, after an 
all-day bombardment by the army and navy, 
the assault on Fort Wagner was made. 
We crossed the moat and engaged in a hand- 
to-hand fight with the Thirty-first North 
Carolina in their outer works. They soon 
weakened, and we drove them from the 
southeast bastion, which we held under a 
terrible cross fire. Re-enforcements were sent 

to our support, but by some blunder, they mistook us for the enemy and poured a 
destructive volley into us. We could not live under the three fires, and something 
had to l>e done to stop the fire in our rear. I ran down into the moat and told our 
men there of the terrible blunder they were making and on this errand was shot in 
the elbow. 

"Having stopped the fire in our rear, I returned to the crest of the fort to find 
Color-Sergeant George (I. Sparks, severely wounded, the color staff shot in two, and 
all the color-guard either killed or wounded. I picked up the colors with my unin 
jured hand, but just at that moment the Confederates made a determined assault 
on us. We managed to repulse the assault, but I received two additional wounds; 
the bone of my left forearm was completely shattered, and I was wounded in the 
head by pieces of a shell that burst near me. My scalp was torn and the blood was 
running into my eyes. 

" Lieutenant James Barrett took command of the regiment, all the other officers 
being killed or wounded, and ordered a retreat. I gave the colors into safe hands, 
and, my mission ended, went into the hospital." 

HIBSON recounts another incident which occurred prior to this, on the evening of 
July 13th. He says: 

" During the bombardment of Fort Wagner, I, a musician, was not required to 
become actively engaged, but went about seeking excitement. I volunteered to take 


the place of a sick comrade who had been allotted to a vidette. Shortly after mid 
night some indistinct forms sprang up out of the darkness, and Daniel Kane, my 
comrade on guard, was stabbed with a bayonet. A voice hissed in my ear the word 
Surrender, but instead of doing so, I brought my rifle to the Shorten arms and 
fired without tak- ing aim. The rebel fell at my feet. I rammed another 

charge of powder v_ into my rifle, but the bullet slipped through my fingers 
and the other V Confederate, who, by this time had risen, charged upon 

me. I turned / ^fil and ran for our rifle pits with the Confederate close 

behind me, Jdfl until one of my comrades brought him down. 


"The following night a volunteer was called for to accompany Lieutenant 
Edwards on a reconnoitering expedition. I volunteered and was accepted. After 
we had gone a short distance, I lost the lieutenant, who wandered off in the darkness 
and strayed back to our lines. I kept on by myself, taking an oblique course. I was 
constantly falling headlong into shell holes and tripping over obstacles, and I had 
finally to go down on hands and knees and crawl. Presently I heard some faint 
voices ahead, and stopping to listen, heard the Confederates shovelling a little 
ahead of me and to my left. At the same moment I heard in my rear three or four 
of the enemy s pickets conversing in low tones. I started to crawl back the way I 
had come and nearly dropped into one of their rifle-pits. I succeeded in avoiding it, 
and got away without being detected. When I returned to my regiment with my 
information the men gave three cheers and a tiger for The little bugler. " 




Private, Troop P, 22d Penn. Vol. Cavalry. 
Born in Washington Co., Penn., May 10, 1846. 

PRIVATE HENRY C. SLUSHER, while a member 
of Troop E, of Ringgold s Independent 

Volunteer Cavalry, made a desperate attempt 

single-handed to rescue a wounded comrade 

from a strong party of Mosby s Guerrillas in 

the Alleghany Mountains. He tells of his ad 
venture in the following words : 

"On September 11, 1863, the rebels, 300 

strong, under Captain McNeil, surprised the 

Yankee camp of 260 men under Major Stevens, 

on Cemetery Hill, at Moorefield, W. Va. At 

three A. M., twenty-five men of Company E 

were ordered out on the Lost River Road, up to 

the South Fork of the Potomac, We met the rebels two miles south of Moorefield, 

carrying off all the camp equipage and 146 prisoners. We took a position on the 

west side of the river on a bluff 
some thirty feet higher than the 
road a ad the river, dismounted, 
and commenced to shoot down 
the horses in the ravine, killing 
twenty of them, and eight or ten 
men of the rebel force. At this 
time I caught sight of my mess 
mate, William P. Hagner, who 
had been wounded early in the 
day, taken prisoner, and placed in 
in an ambulance. When we shot 
the horses he threw up his hands 
as a signal for help. To see him 
in such a predicament was too 
much for me. I at once crossed 
the river. My aim was to rescue 
him at all hazards, and I reached 
the vehicle under a heavy fire. 
In a hand-to-hand fight close by 
by the ambulance, I was wounded 
and captured and had to share 
"MY AIM WAS TO tne ^ G of my comrade in Libby 





Musician, Co. E, 15th United States Infantry. 

DUGLER W. J. CARSON S story is in- 
teresting, because it furnishes a 
fine example of personal bravery, and 
in addition, shows to what extent a 
bugler can become an important fac 
tor in battle. 

" On September 19, 1863, our bri 
gade consisting of the First Battalion 
of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth United 
States Infantry, the three battalions 
of the Eighteenth United States In 
fantry, two battalions of the Nine 
teenth Infantry and Battery H of the 

Fifth United States Artillery, was ordered to advance to a position one mile east of 
Kelley s Field, Chickamauga," Bugler Carson narrates. "Just as our battery was get 
ting into position, a battery and two brigades of the enemy opened fire on us. The 
short, but sharp, engagement resulted in he death of First Lieutenant H. M. Burnham, 
and twelve men, the capture of thirteen men and the entire battery. In addition, 
two lieutenants and sixteen men were wounded, while nearly every horse was 
either killed outright, or fatally injured. 

" Our infantry made a grand and noble effort to recapture the battery, but were 
driven back by the greatly superior force of the enemy. As bugler, I did all in 
my power to rally and lead the men to the charge, going to the flags and sounding 
to the colors. The brave fellows rallied, and, with the assistance of the Seven 
teenth and Ninth Ohio, the battery was retaken. 

" On the following morning, our brigade was engaged with Breckenridge s Corps 
in a most desperate and deadly conflict. Our battalion of 262 men were lying down 
100 yards in the rear as reserves. I had picked up a gun, as was always my custom, 

Cliiekainaiiga. During the summer of 1863, General Rosecrans having succeeded in forcing Bragg 
into Georgia, took a position at Chattanooga, on the Tennessee. Bragg, strongly re-enforced by Johnston 
arid Longstreet, attacked the Federal Army, September 19, at Chickamauga Creek. The first day s battle 
was undecisive. On the 20th, the Confederates advanced, Longstreet on the left, Polk on the right, Ewell 
and Johnston in the center. The Federal left wing was commanded by General Thomas, the center by 
Crittenden, the right by McCook. 

After the fight had lasted several hours, the Union battle-line was opened by General Wood, acting 
under mistaken orders, and the Confederate general, forcing a column into the gap, cut the army in two 
and drove the right wing from the field. General Thomas held the left until nightfall, then withdrew to 

The Union losses in these two days amounted to 15,851 ; the Confederate loss, 17,804. 


and was giving the enemy every shot I could, 
when I saw one of the officers of the Eigh 
teenth skulking back from tree to tree. I 
went through the rows of our men and sent 
him back at the point of the bayonet. 

"The conflict began, when Beattie s Bri 
gade gave way and was driven back by an 
overwhelming force of the enemy. The left 
of our brigade became exposed and likewise 
gave away. Finally the whole line was com 
ing back in disorder. Try as they would, the 
officers were powerless to check the rout. I 
threw down my gun, rushed out some thirty 
yards to the color-bearer of the Eighteenth 
and said to him : Let us rally these men, 
or the whole left is gone. The brave fellow 
stopped and waived his flag. I sounded to the 
colors. The men cheered. They rushed into 
line. Still sounding the rally, I passed back and 
forth in front of the forming line, and what a 
few minutes before seemed like a hopeless 
and disastrous rout, now turned out to be 
a complete victory. The retreat had been 
checked and the enemy driven back with 
awful slaughter. So severe was their repulse, 
that within a few minutes we were firing to 
wards our rear into the enemy who were 
pressing Beattie s troops back. I noticed a 
color-bearer of the Second Ohio running with 
his men out of the woods on the north side of 
Kelley s Field. I headed him off and ex 
horted him to stop, which he promptly did. 
Then I once more sounded to the colors and 
many a brave soldier halted, but as the en 
emy appeared at the edge of the timber and 
poured a deadly volley into us, all broke and 
ran like good fellows. We sought shelter at 
the east of the timber and fired into the en 
emy from a temporary defense of logs and 
rails. After two hours of hard fighting and 

receiving re-enforcements our lines were once more formed and straightened out. 
I took an inventory of myself and found ten bullet holes in my clothes; three 



bullets had pierced my hat and one had struck and slightly wounded my left 
arm. We held our position until the last cartridge was gone, and at about 6:30 
o clock were taken prisoners." 

It was not known till long afterwards that the Fourteenth Corps owed its de 
liverance from annihilation to Bugler Carson. General Bragg had ordered a charge 
on the Federal position at 3:30 o clock in the afternoon, and if it had been de 
livered at that time the rebels could have broken the left of the defense and got in 
the rear of General Thomas men who were holding Snodgrass Hill. The destruc 
tion of the Fourteenth Corps would have been inevitable, for both McCook s and 
Critlander s Corps had been swept from the field. But the rebels were deceived by 
the bugle calls, and thought they signalled the arrival of heavy re-enforcements, so 
they delayed the final blow till they had collected all the forces at hand. This took 
nearly three hours, and by the time the final charge was delivered, and the little 
defending force crushed by weight of numbers, the Northern Army was well on 
its way to Chattanooga. 



"\ X /"HEN General Bragg, the commander of the 
* * Confederate Army at Chickamauga, was 
making a desperate effort to gain possession of the 
State or Lafayette Road, " Sergeant George S. 
Myers relates, "the One hundred and first Ohio 
Regiment, was fighting with its brigade on what 
was then the right flank of the Union Army, which 
rested on the Vineyard Farm. An irresistible force 
of the enemy bore down upon this point, crushing 
the right of the One hundred and first Ohio, killing 
and capturing many men of the right companies, 
and compelling the entire line to fall back in some 

"All of the color-guards were killed, wounded or 
captured within a few minutes : the color-bearer 
went down with a bullet through his head, and the 

colors were thus almost in the hands of the enemy. I sprang back, secured the 
precious flag, and, instead of continuing the retreat, ran boldly forward and planted 
the colors on a knoll in the face of the Confederate line. The regiment responded 


Sergeant. Co. F, 101st Ohio Infantry. 
Born at Lancaster, Ohio, Jan. 2C>. 1S43. 


to my initiative and the enemy was temporarily repulsed. I was wounded, how 
ever, and, after turning over the colors to Colonel Messer, was taken from the field. 

" To illustrate the fierceness of the battle on that part of the line, it may be 
added that after the engagement, all that was left of Company A, of this regiment, 
was Captain Bryant and three men. Company F, of which I was a member, had 
only two men left to answer to the roll call." 

Sergeant Myers gallant act was characterized by his superiors as one of the 
bravest in their experience. 



Si-wan t. Co. A, 10th Ohio Inf. 
Horn in Athens Co., O., June 1,1841. 

OERGEANT WILLIAM E. RICHEY, of Company A, Fifteenth 
^ Ohio Infantry, was the hero of a rare occurrence at 
the battle of Chickamauga, to-wit : the capture of a rebel 
major on the immediate front of the enemy s lines. The 
story is told by Sergeant Richey as follows : 

"At the beginning of the battle of Chickamauga, General 
R. W. Johnson s Division was ordered to support General 
Thomas, whose corps constituted the left of the Union line 
of battle. The march of Johnson s men to the position of 
Thomas was a rapid one; the men going almost on a run, 
their steps being quickened by the sound of artillery and 
small arms, as the battle had just begun on the left. 

"Johnson s men had been inarching over mountains, 

hills and valleys for more than a month, and now, weary, foot-sore and covered with 
dust, they were hastening to the scene of conflict on the banks of the historic Chick 

"The division went into battle about noon, September 19th, at Kelly s farm, facing 
toward the east, Willich s Brigade constituting the right of the division. 

"Advancing through the woods, the division soon became engaged and furiously 
assaulting the enemy s lines, drove the rebels about a mile and captured five pieces 
of artillery which had been doing much damage. 

" The division continued to drive the enemy until Willich s Brigade halted near a 
small field. The division had advanced so far that there was no connection or sup 
port on either the right or left. Firing had ceased and the enemy disappeared. It 
was now late in the afternoon. However, a little before dark, the rebels, largely 
re-enforced, made another furious attack on Johnson s Division, which met a deter 
mined resistance. The air was rent with cannon balls, shells, canister, grape and 
bullets and the twilight was lurid with the fire of battle. This terrible conflict had 


the effect of throwing 
the regiments of Wil- 
lich s Brigade into one 
solid line, sending death 
and disorder into the 
Confederate ranks, 
where firing soon 
ceased. For a while 
then there was a lull in 
the battle. At this 
time I was sent to the 
front with a party of 
comrades, to observe 
the enemy and learn, if 
possible, the exact situ 
ation on our front. 

" Subsequently I ad 
vanced and was soon 
between the lines of 
battle of the two armies. 
Presently I saw an offi 
cer on horseback ap 
proaching me from the 
right, only a short dis 
tance from me. We 

were no sooner side by side, than I discovered that we were enemies. As quickly as 
I could, I said to the man on horseback, in a loud, bold tone : You are my prisoner; 
surrender, or I will blow out your brains. 

" Instantly the officer reached for his pistol, but, pointing my weapon at him, I 
repeated my demand with increased determination and ordered him to dismount. 
He complied and became my prisoner. 

"He was a rebel major, who had been endeavoring to arrange the Confederate 
lines of battle. While doing so, he had ridden outside of his lines and come in con 
tact with me, supposing his men to be on the ground which his captor occupied." 

Sergeant Richey brought his prisoner to his lines, where he was highly com 
mended for his bold and brave act. 




1st Sergeant, Co. K. 2nd Minnesota 

Vol. Infantry. 
Born in Hartford, Oxford Co., Me., 

March 13, 1835. 

"OERGEANT REED, you are under arrest !" 

^ With these words a sergeant of the guard ap 
proached First Sergeant A. H. Reed, who, with a com 
rade, was at supper under a "pup-tent" fly. Sergeant 
Reed at first considered the remark a joke, but the other 
soon convinced him that he was in earnest by placing 
him under arrest. It appeared, that, while encamped at 
Winchester, Tenn., July, 1868, Sergeant Reed had pub 
licly and indiscreetly criticised the food of the Union 
soldiers. This constituted a breach of discipline and 
w T as punished accordingly. Sergeant Reed was arrested. 
He asked for a speedy trial. Instead, he was deprived 
of arms and accoutrements, and was marched off with 
his regiment over the Cumberland Mountains across 
the Tennessee River to the plains of Chickamauga, where 
Bragg s Confederate forces were concentrating. An all- 
night march brought them close to the enemy early Saturday morning, September 19. 
The regiment unslung knapsacks, put them in a pile and left them under guard with 
the prisoners, of whom Sergeant Reed was one, while the regiment itself hurried 
off to meet the enemy. 

"Soon the musketry began to rattle and cannons to boom," Sergeant Reed in 
telling of his interesting experience narrates, "I said to the guard and another 
soldier under arrest, that I felt as though we ought to be at the front helping the 
boys. If the officers are foolish enough to place me under arrest, I propose to stay 
where I belong in the rear, the other replied. I observed, that, in my opinion, the 
Government had fed, drilled and paid us for just such an occasion as this, and 
should not be blamed for the actions of a few foolish officers. At any rate, I in 
tended to take part in the fray. At first I attempted to persuade the guard, an old 
Prussian soldier, to give me his gun, but he said : Oh no, I keep my own gun. 
And the old fellow remained firm in his refusal. 

" I then started out alone, following the ambulance and sound of guns, until I 
found my regiment, lying down and under fire. I did not have to wait long before 

Bristol Station. Early in October, General Meade, whose force was about 68,090, formed a plan of 
attack against Lee, who, with an inferior force, was also preparing for action. On the 14th, Lee advanced 
from Warrenton, Va., in two columns. Hill, on the left, was ordered to strike the railroad at Bristol 
Station. When he reached this point, all of Meade s army had passed it, with the exception of Warren s 
Corps, with which he at once engaged in action. Hill was driven back, with a Joss of 4~> J men, taken 
prisoners, and five guns. 


a man was wounded some distance to my right. I ran up to him, got his gun, and 
returned to my company. Soon our lieutenant was wounded, which left but one 
commissioned officer with the company It now became my duty to act in his place, 
which I did, but nevertheless I used the musket throughout the two days fight." 

In recognition of this proof of true devotion to duty General Thomas issued 
a special order releasing him from arrest and restoring him to duty. 

AT the storming of Missionary Ridge, November 25, 1863, Sergeant Heed s regi 
ment was placed in the front line covering Van Dever s Brigade, of Baird s Division, 
Fourteenth Army Corps. In the absence of a commissioned officer, he was placed in 
command of his company, which was the center and color company of the regiment. 

"We were to move forward," Sergeant Reed goes on to tell, "on the first line of 
the enemy s works at the foot of the ridge, at the signal of the firing of three can 
nons. This was done and the line of works were carried without much trouble. 

"Where the remnant of my company went over the works, two cannons were 
captured. I ordered the pieces turned on the fleeing enemy, but no ammunition 
could be found. I dashed off to the left in an oblique course and soon came upon two 
rebels who had just hitched four iron gray horses to a caisson. I demanded their 
surrender, but was refused, and aiming at a man on one of the horses, fired. As I 
was reloading, a Minie ball shattered my arm from elbow to shoulder. I fell and 
lay within a few rods of where the horses and caisson stood, until firing ceased, and 
the enemy fled, when I got a wounded soldier to help me put a tourniquet on my 
arm to stop the flow of blood, and then walked to the foot of the ridge, from 
where I was taken to a hospital in Chattanooga, Tenn. 



Lieutenant, Co. B, llth Mich. Inf. 

Highest rank attained: Captain. 

Born in Allen, Hillsdale Co., Mich.. 

Dec. 13, 1840. 

* enth Michigan Infantry, tells of a unique way of re 
plenishing the empty cartridge pouches of the men of 
his company as follows : 

"Noon of the 20th of September, 1863, found our 
brigade Stanley s Negley s Division, Thomas Corps, 
on Snodgrass Hill, a part of Missionary Ridge. We were 
about 120 yards east of the Snodgrass House. The bri 
gade consisted of the Nineteenth Illinois, Eighteenth Ohio 
and Eleventh Michigan, about 700 men, placed in line of 
battle as follows: Nineteenth Illinois on the right, 
Eleventh Michigan on the left, and the Eighteenth Ohio 
in reserve. We were expected to repel the assault 
of Preston s and Kershaw s Divisions of Confederate 


infantry. Their losses alone during the afternoon were twenty per centum more than 
the whole number of our brigade. During a lull in the storm of battle we threw 
up a temporary breastwork of stone, rails and logs. About 5 P. M., after repulsing 
five successive charges of the enemy, we found ourselves without ammunition. The 
enemy were about 100 yards in our front, preparing for another charge, and their 
sharpshooters were firing at every man who showed his head above our light works. 
Their dead and wounded lay in great numbers, right up to our works. They were 


armed with Enfield rifles of the same calibre as our Springfield rifles. I don t know 
what prompted me, but I took my knife from my pocket, stepped over the works, 
and, while my company cheered and the rebels made a target of me, I hurriedly 
passed along the front, cutting off the cartridge boxes of the dead and wounded, and 
threw them over to my company. Thus I secured a few rounds for each of my men. 
The enemy made one more charge and was again repulsed. Darkness settled down 
on us, and ended the terrible battle of Chickamauga." 


. . 


"PHE battle of Wauhatchie, Term., on October 


Captain, Co. F. loath Pennsylvania Vol. Inf. 
Highest rank attained : Major. 

28, 1863, was fought by General J. W. 
Geary, commanding the Second Division of the 
Twelfth Army Corps, against General Longstreet s 
Division of General Lee s Army Corps. 

General Geary had at his disposal, about 1,500 
men, all told. 

The presence of the rebels was well known to 
General Geary, but his position was difficult to 
ascertain. The first information on this score 
was furnished by a woman who told one of the 
officers that the rebels were gathered at the foot 
of Lookout Mountain. General Geary ordered 
pickets to be placed and enjoined the utmost 
vigilance upon the regimental commanders. 

Shortly after midnight the Union outposts 
gave the alarm and the entire command was put 

under arms at once. A fitful moon cast but a dim light, sufficiently only to see a 
body of men at a distance of no more than 100 yards, and during the subsequent 
fierce fight the whereabouts of the combatants could be revealed only by the flashes 
of the firearms. The Federal position was not a very favorable one. No pro 
tection was offered, except a fence, which, was improved under fire, into a rude 
breastwork. For three hours the contest raged along the whole line. 

"Pick off the artillerist!" the rebels exclaimed. Captain C. A. Atwell, who 
commanded one section of artillery, fell, mortally wounded ; Lieutenant E. R. 
Geary, commander of the other section, son of the general, was killed. The men 
and horses fell so rapidly that only two guns could be worked after the attack, 
Still the men refused to yield to the rebel onslaught. General Geary s men stub 
bornly maintained their ground and held the enemy at bay by a death dealing fire. 

Among the most gallant of the leaders was Captain Moses Veale of Company F, 
One hundred and ninth Pennsylvania Infantry, who was in the thickest of the fight. 
He and his men fought near one gun of the battery at the most critical period of 
the battle. General Geary speaks of his coolness, zeal, judgment and courage in the 
most flattering expressions. The Captain was struck four times by the enemy s 
bullets, one ball passing through his right shoulder. His horse, too, was shot from 
under him, but, nevertheless the brave soldier refused to give up or leave his post. 
He remained at the head of his company, directing its telling fire, until the enemy 
realizing their numerical strength availed them nothing as against such bravery 
and valor, retired and left the victors of that bloody night. 




Lieutenant, 2nd Independent Bat 
tery. Mass. L. A. 
Highest rank attained : Brevet- 

Born at Andover. Mass., 
March 11,1839. 

A N INSTANCE where light artillery charged a body of 
* cavalry and mounted infantry, and scored a com 
plete success, occurred at Grand Coteau, La., 1863. The 
Second Independent Battery, Massachusetts Light Artil 
lery, accomplished this extraordinary feat. How it was 
done is told by Lieutenant William Marland. 

" In obedience to orders," he narrates, " to report to 
General Burbridge with two pieces of artillery, I har 
nessed up at 4 A. M. on November 3, 1863 ; remained so 
for fully seven hours, when I was ordered to unharness ; 
the pickets firing all the while. About two hours later, 
at 12:45 P. M. the firing became general. Hearing the 
cavalry buglers blow boots and saddles I began to harness up on my own responsi 
bility, but was attacked in camp before I could get harnessed. The enemy being 
within 400 yards of me, I opened on them with canister and percussion shell, which 
checked their advance and drove them to the right. I limbered to the front and ad 
vanced to the fork of the road, which is about 100 yards, went into battery and fired 
a few shots until all my support had left me. Finding it too warm, I limbered to the 
rear and moved about 300 yards. Discovering the enemy in my rear and on my 
right, I fired to the right about fifty shots and was charged upon on three sides. 
Thus we were completely surrounded. To add to the seriousness of the situation, 
I discovered that my support had left me and been captured. 

"Here we were a mere handful, surrounded by an overwhelming force of 
mounted troops! I sent my orderly to see if the enemy held the bridge. He came 
back and reported that they did. I moved to the edge of the timber and found the 
enemy drawn up in line. Only one course was now open to us to cut our way 
through their lines. My mind was quickly made up. I gave the order: Limber to 
the rear ; caissons to the left of pieces ; cannoners in line with lead drivers ; draw 
revolvers and charge ! We made straight for the rebels. Strange to say, they broke 
right and left. We dashed through the gap thus made and cut our way with only 
two of our men taken prisoners. The enemy drove us two miles till we reached the 
commands of Generals Cameron and McGinnis, who were hastening to our support." 

(wraiul Cotoau, La. On the morning of November 3, 1863, the Confederates attacked the Third Divi 
sion, Thirteenth Army Corps, under command of General Burbridge, in overwhelming force. The impetus 
of the rebel attack at first, drove the Union men back in some confusion. The timely arrival of re-enforce 
ments enabled General Hut-bridge not only to check the further advance of the enemy, but to drive them 
off the. ground already gained. The Union loss though slight, was somewhat greater than that of the enemy. 


No more fitting tribute to the gallantry, vim and determination of Lieutenant 
Marland can be paid than is expressed by General C. C. Washburn, who, in his 
official report, reports the incident thus: "The bringing off of the section of Nim s 
battery, commanded by Lieutenant Marland, after the regiment sent to its support 
had surrendered, extorted the admiration of every beholder." 



/CAPTAIN WALTER G. MORRILL of the Twentieth Maine Infantry, won his Medal of 
^-- > Honor at the battle of Rappahannock Station, November 7, 1863. 

The Confederate position at that point was skillfully chosen. It w r as a fortified 
semi-circle on the north bank of the Rappahannock, just above the point where the 
old Orange and Alexander Railroad crosses the river. The Confederate right of these 
entrenchments was at the bank of the river upon a sharp bluff, within a few yards 
of the railroad itself ; thence following the crest of hills along the river these en 
trenchments swept off up-river until they again reached the bank of the water 
course a third of a mile further up. In front of the position, and on all sides, the 
ground was open for three-quarters of a mile, with absolutely nothing to cover the 
approach of troops. The main body of General Lee s army was immediately south 




Captain, 20th Maine Infantry. 
Highest rank attained: Lieut. - 


Born at Williamsburg, Me , 
Nov. 13, 1840. 

of the Kappahannock ; the Third, Fifth 
and Sixth Corps of Meade s army ap 
proached the position from the north and 
east. Back of . the Confederate entrench 
ments the river was too deep to ford, but 
the position was reached from the south 
bank by a pontoon bridge, where Confed 
erate artillery was trained to sweep the 
approaches to the works, which were held 
by two brigades of General Jubal A. Ear- 
ly s Division. 

The Union forces, across the open 
ground, were compelled to approach this 
position cautiously, and with skirmishers 

only. Over the vast plain down the river and below the railway, came the skirmish 
line of the Fifth Corps, those nearest the works of the enemy being men from the 
Twentieth Maine, commanded by Captain Morrill. They approached the right flank 
of the Confederate position. Directly in front of the works were skirmishers from 
the Sixth Corps, consisting of five companies of the Sixth Maine who joined their 
line at the railway. Slowly the Confederate skirmishers were pressed back until they 
were driven into the works, over a bare and bleak field. A road about 150 yards 
from the entrenchments was reached by the Sixth Maine, and under the cover of a 
shallow ditch a long halt was made. Captain Morrill advanced his men and kept 
in touch with the other troops at the railwa} T . As darkness approached, the 
skirmish line of the Sixth Maine was doubled with the other five companies, and 
General D. A. Russell, commanding, sent word along the line thus formed that they 
were to assault and carry the enemy s works in front. The undertaking was 
perilous to the last degree, and impossible except in a wild transport of sublime 
heroism. There were no orders for Captain Morrill s men to join in this assault and 
share its perils and glory. Though it promised the destruction of all who engaged 
in it, Captain Morrill could not see his comrades lead such a forlorn hope and not 
go with them. He explained the situation to his men and called for volunteers 
to support the "Old Sixth." About fifty responded and he held them in readiness 
for the advance when it came. In the flank of the enemy s works towards him, 
just across the railway and next to the river, was an open passage for a road. Cap 
tain Morrill with a quick eye and keen judgment, selected this weak point for attack. 
When the dusk had deepened so that the real numbers of the assaulting line 
could not be seen by the Confederates, General Russell set his little force in motion, 
and with his staff, joined in the terrible charge. The Sixth Maine s double line of 
skirmishers did not number three hundred, all told. But with a yell and a "tiger" 
which rent the skies and told of a force fourfold as large, they rushed to the fray. 
In an instant the works in their front were a sheet of solid flame ; the air was hot 


with the hiss of Minie balls ; grape and canister tore and decimated their lines ; 
wilder and fiercer their yells rung upon the night as they rushed upon the foe. 
They reached the works however, and at points drove out brave men far more num 
erous than themselves ; at other points they seemed swallow r ed up in the masses of 
their unfaltering adversaries. Gathering themselves together they kept up the fight 
in groups, but it seemed as if no human courage and valor could conquer the 
works they had reached. They began to sweep along the works at last and gained 


tum as they 
went. Captain 
Morrill and his 
little band insured 
success. Dashing up 
on the enemy s flank 
through the open roadway, 
no storm of lead and iron 

could turn them back. The enemy feared that a great force was hammering his 
flank and rear, and gave way, completing the confusion and defeat. Sweeping 
along the works he so gallantly helped to empty, Captain Morrill soon joined the 
"Old Sixth," and the entrenchments beyond the point where the pontoon bridge 
was laid were wrested from the enemy. This cut off their own retreat and brought 
new peril to the now greatly reduced Union force which had won unparalled 
victory. Gathering themselves together in the upper portion of their works the 


Confederates by counter attack sought to open a way to the bridge. Minutes were 
as ages to the little band which repulsed these attacks and still held their ground. 
The Fifth Wisconsin came up to the support of the Sixth Maine, and then, then 
victory was plucked from the "jaws of death and the mouth of hell." 

Other forces then advanced and received the surrender of the penned up enemy 
with little further fighting. There were captured eight battle flags, four pieces of 
artillery and 1,600 men. 



Lieut-Col., 17th Mich. Infantry. 
Highest rank attained: Bvt. Brig-Gen. 


Mansfield Center, Conn., Jan. 30, 1831. 

T lEUTENANT-CoLONEL F. W. Swift, of the Seven- 
* teenth Michigan Infantry, won his medal by 
seizing the colors after three color-bearers had been 
shot down, and rallying the regiment, which had 
become demoralized and was in imminent danger 
of capture. The incident occurred on November 16, 
1863. General Burnside, who was in command of the 
Union forces in Eastern Tennessee, was being forced 
back by General Longstreet, who had from twelve to 
fifteen thousand men, more than double Burnside s 
force. Burnside had moved his little army to Huff s 
Ferry below London, with the intention of prevent 
ing Longstreet from crossing the river. The Union 
Army was ordered to retire towards Knoxville, which it 
did, closely followed by Longstreet. Before daybreak on the 16th, orders were given 
to destroy all the army supplies at Lenoir, and more than one hundred wagons and 
their contents were burned, the animals being used to drag the guns as the roads 
were very heavy. After the destruction of the stores and ammunition, the Seven 
teenth Michigan was detached to act as rearguard of the brigade, and Lieutenant- 
Colonel Comstock was ordered to keep a strong line of skirmishers on the rear and 
flanks of the regiment. In this order, the Union Army moved back to Turkey Creek, 
a small stream six or eight miles east of Lenoir Station. The rest of the story is 
best told by Major Swift. He says : 

" Here the advance guard of the enemy came up and opened tire on our line of 
skirmishers, advancing rapidly with the intention of cutting us off from the rest of 
the command. Our men began to fall back, and Colonel Comstock, who had been 
directed to hold the line of the creek as long as practicable to enable the brigade to 
choose ground for the defense, hung on to his position until the enemy began cross 
ing the creek above and below and enfiladed us. I urged the colonel to move the 

regiment across the creek and up the slope on the east side, but he understood his 
orders to mean that he must hold the creek at all hazards. The men became 
demoralized, and were already crossing the creek without orders. 

" Fearing a stampede, I assumed the responsibility of moving the regiment across 
the creek and up to the top of the hill on the other side. One of the color-guard was 
killed, another had his eye shot out, and a third was seriously wounded. Seeing the 
colors fall, I snatched them up and called to the men: We have fallen back just 
far enough; we will form here. 

" Some one asked : Who shall we form on ? and I replied : Form on me. 

" The men obeyed and formed rapidly in order, 
and were able with a well directed tire to check 
the advance of the enemy, who had crossed the 
ravine, and were now advancing at the charge. A 
counter charge was made by our regiment, and 
the enemy fled precipitately, after which we re 
sumed our retreat slowly and in good order. 

"Sergeant Morgan Bowling, who was taken 
prisoner in the old distillery, where we had left 
a party of sharpshooters to check the enemy s 
advance, told us afterwards that our charge 
had produced a wonderful result. He said 
that the enemy had run 
back in a panic, and did 
not stop till they had 
recrossed the creek. 

"At the time our 
charge was delivered, 
General Longstreet had 
alighted on the further 
bank of the creek to 
question the prisoners 
and when he saw his 
men running in con 
fusion, he galloped off 
and ordered up the re 
serves. A moment after 
he had ridden away, a 
shot from our cannon 
struck the exact spot 
where he had been 
standing." "WE WILL FORM HERE. 




Sergeant. 9th Michigan Cavalry. 
Born at Sandy Creek. Oswego Co., N. Y., April 27, 1838. 

Michigan Cavalry, earned his Medal of 
Honor by a bold and venturesome trip into the 
enemy s country in the disguise of a Confed 
erate to deliver dispatches entrusted to him. 
Had he been captured in this disguise, his fate 
would have been that of a spy hanged at the 

Sergeant Hadley, in recalling the incidents 
of his journey, says : 

"General Wilcox was commanding the 
forces in and around Cumberland Gap, in 
November, 1863, when he received a dispatch 
from General Grant at Chattanooga, to be forwarded to General Burnside, who was 
besieged at Knoxville, Tenn., with all his communications cut. The dispatch read : 

I shall attack Bragg on the 21st, and if successful, will start immediately to the relief of Knox 
ville, if you can hold out. GRANT. 

"General Wilcox instructed Brigadier-General Gerrard to choose two sergeants of 
the Ninth Michigan Cavalry, and two from the Seventh Ohio, to carry the dispatch 
into Knoxville. Sergeant Rowe and I were sent for. When we arrived at head 
quarters, we found the two Ohio sergeants. The general read the dispatch and 
asked us if we were were willing to run the risk of carrying it into Knoxville. We 
consented, and were sent on our mission without further instructions. A disguise 
and meeting at the Clinch River was agreed on. My bunkmate, brought, me a Con 
federate uniform that we had captured a few days before, and as I started off in 
the rain and dark, he said : I shall never see you again. What shall I tell your 
relatives ? I replied : Tell them that I never showed the white feather. 

" We met at Clinch River, a mile out of camp, and I was disappointed to see that 
the Ohio boys were wearing full uniform. They could not get a disguise, and neither 
could Rowe. We crossed the mountains and Holston River together and then 
separated, the Ohioans taking one road and Rowe and I another. 

"Hard riding had used up my horse at 2 P. M., and I had to borrow another 
from a stable near by, the owner protesting. At four o clock we passed New Market, 
and were now within sound of our artillery, but with two rivers and one range 
of mountains to cross, and twenty thousand rebels to pass. We succeeded in cross 
ing Bull Mountain and French Broad River, then going south of the city, we reached 
our lines near Knoxville. Here Sergeant Rowe was taken sick, and T rode alone 
into the city, reaching General Burnside s headquarters at 9 P. M., after having been 
continual! v in the saddle for nineteen hours. 


" I expected to remain in Knoxville until the siege was raised, and was surprised 
when General Burnside asked me to undertake to return with dispatches at four 
o clock in the morning. Taking me into a private room, he produced four dispatches 
written on tissue paper, one to General Wilcox, one to General Grant, one to 
the Secretary of War, and one to Mrs. Burnside, in Rhode Island, and placing them 
in my revolver, he said : Sergeant Hadley, if captured, be sure to fire off your revol 
ver before surrendering. 

"After passing the last picket, I found Sergeant Rowe better and determined to 
return with me. 1 cannot tell how long we manoeuvred before we got through the 
enemy s lines, but all at once, about two o clock in the morning, as we were descend 
ing Clinch Mountain, we discovered the camp fires of some rebels, and had gone out 
but a few steps when we were ordered to Halt. We turned to retreat, but a volley 
was fired at us. Our horses being jaded, the rebels gained on us, so we determined 
to dismount, and foot the rough mountain. 

"Rowe thought he could evade the rebels by lying down, but they stumbled over 
him, and he was captured and sent to Andersonville. As for me, I could take no 
chances, for I was wearing a Confederate uniform and I knew I would be executed 
as a spy if I was caught. I kept on around the side of the mountain till I was 
exhausted and could not go a step farther. I found a big hollow log that had been 
split open, and I lay down in that with my revolver under my head. 

" When I awoke it was daylight and I could hear the rebel pickets talking close 
by me; they had captured our horses and were looking for me. I was relieved when 
I heard their officers calling them in. Watching my chance I crept down the 
mountain, passed between their pickets, and crossed the road about eighty rods from 
their main camp. 

"I came to a house which fortunately was occupied by a Union woman. She 
told me that her husband was hiding in the mountain, and that the rebels had 
searched her house for him three times that morning. She pointed out a ravine, by 
following which I could get across the valley without being seen, and strike the 
timber. I followed her directions and came to a road at the other end of the timber. 
While I was considering which direction I should take, a rebel horseman came rid 
ing slowly along. I dropped on one knee and drew my revolver on him, but he 
passed within ten feet of me without seeing me. 

"I got to the Clinch River at last and found it too high to swim across. There 
was no ferry and no one was willing to row me across, as one bank was lined with 
rebels and the other with Northern troops. Finally I got a man to attempt it, and 
as we got to the other shore, a squad of Union soldiers came down to meet us. I 
told them who I was, and they gave me a horse. I rode to General Wilcox s head 
quarters, where I delivered my dispatches. 

" I was completely exhausted, for I had ridden and walked over 100 miles and 
had tired out two horses, but was thankful to have escaped with my life, and accom 
plished the purpose of my journey." 



TT was for an act of superlative bravery, performed 
1 altogether outside of the line of his duty, that the 
Medal of Honor was conferred on Lieutenant John J. 
Toffey, of Company G, Thirty-third New Jersey Volun 
teers. At a time when he ought to have been in the 
hospital, he rushed into almost certain death to lead a 
storming party, the officers of which had all been shot 
down. He thus describes his feat : 

"For several days prior to the battle of Chattanooga 
I had been excused from duty on account of illness, and 
the night before the battle the surgeon of the regiment 
ordered me into hospital, telling me that I was not able 
to take part in the engagement that we were expecting. 
I was determined not to be deprived of my share of the 
excitement, so I tore up the permit he had given me and 

marched with the regiment. We were ordered to charge a very strong position on 
the extreme right of the rebel line. It was well fortified and surrounded by dense 
woods, while in front there was an open field over which we had to charge. 

" Companies I and A, as they emerged into the open, were met with a murderous 
fire from the entrenched enemy and the swarms of sharpshooters in the woods and 
buildings that commanded the front of the position. They were directing their 
attention to the officers, and at the first fire, Captain Waldron, of Company I, was 
shot down, with a bullet through his head, and Captain Boggs, of Company A, was 
mortally wounded. 

"Seeing their officers fall, the men became demoralized. The line wavered and 
began to fall back in disorder. As these two companies held the key to our position 


1st Lieutenant, Co. G, Sad N. J. Inf. 
Born at Quaker Hill, N.Y., June 1,1844. 

Chattanooga. After the battle of Chickamauga, Rosecrans, in a state of siege at Chattanooga, Tenn., 
Was re-enforced by Hooker with two corps, General Sherman witli a division, and General Grant, who, at 
this time in command of the western armies, took the direction of affairs at Chattanooga. 

The left wing of the Confederates rested on Lookout Mountain, the right on Missionary Ridge. 

On the 23d of November, Hooker s Corps gained a position at the mouth of Lookout Creek, facing the 
mountain, and, on the 24th, the assault was made between eight and nine o clock in the morning. In two 
hours, the rebel riflepits were carried. The charge was continued up the mountain in the face of a terrific 
fire, and, at two o clock, Hooker held the position on the summit, the Confederates retreating to Mission 
ary Ridge. 

The following morning Hooker renewed the battle at the southwestern end of the Ridge, General 
Sherman gained a lodgement on the northeastern declivity, while General Thomas waited at Orchard 
Knob. At two o clock, General Grant gave the order for a general assault. The Union soldiers charged to 
the summit of Missionary Ridge, and the rebels were completely routed. 

Bragg withdrew his force into Georgia, having sustained a loss of nearly 10,000. The Union killed, 
wounded and missing were 5,616. 


and were intended to lead the attack, something had to be done. Colonel George 
W. Mindil ordered me to hasten to the right and take command of that part of the 
line, all the officers being killed or wounded. 

"I ran across the open field and reached the advance line in time to prevent it 
from breaking. I reformed the line and we again charged the almost impregnable 
position in the face of an accurate and deadly tire. Just as we were carrying the 
position I received a severe wound, which disabled me permanently, and my military 
career was brought to a close." 

Colonel Mindil stated in his report to the Secretary of War, that "the superla 
tively brave conduct of First Lieutenant John J. Toffey, saved the position, and 
enabled us on the following morning to press forward the entire line, and to unite 
the lines of the Army of the Cumberland, with those of General Sherman s Army at 
the mouth of the Chickamauga." 


^ One hundred and forty-ninth New 
York Volunteers, won his Medal of 
Honor by risking his life to save his 
comrades, who were being fired upon 
by their own batteries, at the battle of 
Lookout Mountain, Tenn., November 
24, 1863. Captain George K. Collins 
thus describes the incident : 

"Our regiment had charged the 
enemy on the heights above the Craven 
House, when a Union battery in the 
valley below, opened a damaging fire 
upon us, mistaking us for the enemy. 
Sergeant Kiggins. color-bearer of the 
regiment, advanced to a point between 
the two lines, got up on a stump and 
waved his flag to attract the attention 
of the artillerymen, thus averting what 
threatened to be a serious disaster. In 
accomplishing this brave deed, he drew 
the enemy s fire upon himself, and nine 

bullet holes in his clothing, besides one through his cap, which left its mark upon 
his scalp, and one through his thigh, attested the accuracy of the enemy s fire." 

Sergeant, Co. I), 14lth X. Y. Inf. 


PHILLIP GOETTEL was a corporal of the One hundred and forty-ninth New York 
Infantry. At the battle of Lookout Mountain, November 24, 1863, his regiment 

made a charge over fields and fences, through woods and 
against a severe fire of the enemy. The Confederates 
fidence and great in strength. They assailed 
Union line with almost irresistible fierce- 
was met with an unwavering front. A 
was poured into the ranks, and the enemy 

In the face of a steady outpouring 
ter, Corporal Goettel rushed 
ceeded in capturing a Confeder- 
quite a daring feat, but still 
to keep the trophy 

swamps and 
were full of con- 
the center of the 
ness, but the onset 
steady, telling fire 
soon gave ground, 
of grape an canis- 
forward and suc- 
ate flag. This was 
more difficult it was 
and carry it back 
to his own lines. 
The rebels were not 
willing to lose their 
colors without making 
at least a desperate attempt 
to save them, and thus Cor 
poral Goettel became a verit 
able human target as he 
rushed back to his ranks. 
However, he escaped injury and 
was at once made the recipient of 
many congratulations from his 
comrades and warm praises 
from his superiors. A week 
lapsed before Corporal 
Goettel turned the cap 
tured flag over to his 
quartermaster. In the heat 
of engagements and fights he 
had forgotten his own brave act 
and the importance of his prize. 

T the same battle another Confederate 

SIGNALLING TO CEASE FIRING. i v fl a g was captured by Private Peter 

Kappesser, of Company I), of the same 

regiment. A Confederate camp in a hollow was surprised at breakfast. A brief 
but extremely sharp struggle ensued. The rebel color-sergeant, with his color-guard, 


was attempting to retreat under cover of some rocks. Private Kappesser boldly 
rushed upon them and demanded their surrender. The rebel sergeant and his guard 
were panic stricken and handed him the colors. Private Kappesser quickly tore the 
flag off the staff and thrust the bunting under his coat. He then hastened to the 
rescue of a comrade, who was wounded and writhing in pain, and taking him upon 
his back, ear-riiitl comrade and flag to his own ranks. During the intensely cold 
night the daring soldier wore the Confederate flag as a scarf around his neck, and 
used it for this purpose until the battle of Missionary Ridge was over, when he gave 
it to the commanding officer of his regiment. 

L 1 


lieutenant. Thirteenth Illinois Infantry. 

Highest rank attained: Captain. 

Born at Buffalo, N. Y., Jan. 14. 1842. 

extraordinary feat of capturing, single- 
handed, a rebel battle flag at Missionary Ridge, 
November 25, 18(53, and the whole color-guard 
with it. He gives this account of the incident : 
" We had formed line of battle at the foot of 
Missionary Ridge, and after waiting a few min 
utes we received the order to advance at double 
quick. We crossed an open field and a creek 
before we came in full view of the rebel lines, 
near the top of the ridge. With never a chance 
to regain our breath, we were pushed on under a 

heavy fire. The order came to my company and another, to advance as skirmishers. 
"We had approached within a short distance of the enemy s line when they 
broke. I caught sight of the rebel colors with the guard, who kept well together, 
and I determined to have them at any cost. My company was back of me and I 
knew that, although they were somewhat scattered, the men would follow me. I 
pushed on and captured a rebel, from whom I took a Springfield musket and car 
tridges, before ordering him to the rear as a prisoner. 

"With the captured musket, I opened fire on the color-guard, and brought down 
the color-bearer. When the flag came down, the men disappeared in the tall grass 
and weeds. I reloaded quickly, and rushed to the spot, where I found nine men. I 
was about to fire upon them again, when they waved their hats and shouted : " We 

"I seized the flag, which was that of the Eighteenth Alabama Infantry, and they 
handed me the belt and socket. Some of my men coming up at this moment, I 


placed them as a guard over the prisoners. I then pushed forward in the direction 
of General Bragg s headquarters near the summit of the ridge, carrying the flag 
with me. The remnant of the rebel army was in full retreat, and our day s work 
was done. The belt and socket 1 still have in my possession as a relic." 

^M^^^^lttMl^KI^^^^AttfciJialudMMM " 

vWRMV|VV|k / 



THE effects of the battle of Chattanooga on the 25th of November, 1863, were keenly 
felt from Nashville to Knoxville and from Chattanooga to Mobile and Savan 
nah; it was a struggle, conducted for the Federal side by General George H. Thomas, 
commander of the Army of the Cumberland, and handsomely won by him and his 
brave and gallant troops. 

In this battle the Thirtieth Ohio Infantry was attached to the Second Brigade of 
the Third Division of the Fourteenth Corps of the Army of the Cumberland. 

The morning of the 25th of November opened clear and bright with General 
Thomas at his headquarters on Orchard Knob, commanding a full view of the 
entire field. 

The Third Division of the Fourteenth Corps had for two days been in camp three- 
quarters of a mile in front of Fort Phelps, with its left resting on the Moon Road and 
its right near Turchin s Brigade. About eight o clock the Thirty-fifth Ohio, Lieu- 



Lieutenant-Colonel, 35th Ohio Infantry. 

Highest rank attained: Bvt. Brig-Gen., 


Born at West Stockbridge, Mass., 
July -22. 1835. 

tenant-Colonel Henry Van N. Boynton, commander, was 
deployed along the front and advancing about a mile, 
strongly opposed. The enemy had drawn in its pickets 
so that upon the approach of the Ohio men, several small 
observation parties retired in haste. Shortly after, the 
regiment rejoined its brigade and moved with the divi 
sion to a position about half a mile north of the Bald Hill, 
facing and 1,200 yards distant from Missionary Ridge. 
Here the Thirty-fifth Ohio was placed in the center of 
the brigade on the first line. Up to four o clock in the 
afternoon this force was engaged in skirmishing with 
the enemy on the far side of the woods, when an advance 
was ordered, and under a heavy fire from the enemy s 
artillery on the ridge and from musketry from the lower 
works, the brigade dashed forward at double-quick with 
out firing a shot. When within one hundred yards 

from the rifle pits the Confederates were retreating as rapidly as they could up the 
precipitous ridge behind them. 

Still the Thirty-fifth Ohio, with the other regiments of the brigade, moved on 
steadily under a very heavy direct and enfilading fire until they were partly under 
cover of the first line of works. Then the division commander ordered a charge to 
the crest of the ridge, and with cheers and great energy the Third Division of the 
Fourteenth Corps began a bloody ascent. The steep surface, the enemy s sharp 
shooters in front, a terrific enfilading artillery fire on both flanks did not lessen their 
eager haste, so that, at last it became practically a race between the first and second 
lines of the division. After numerous hand-to-hand conflicts the colors of the Second 
Brigade, Third Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, were planted on the summit of the 
ridge, such of the Confederates as could do so fleeing precipitately. As the men 
of the Thirty-fifth Ohio sprang over the works, cannoneers, caught loading their 
pieces, were driven away, or, refusing to run, were bayoneted before they could fire 
their pieces. At this point the Thirty-fifth captured three guns, after which they 
joined in the pursuit of the enemy, who had retreated to the left, for nearly half a 

It was during this fight that Lieutenant-Colonel Boynton fell, severely wounded, 
and because of his day s experience, that officer now wears the Congressional Medal 
of Honor, " For leading his regiment at Missionary Ridge, Tenn., November 25, 1864, 
in the face of a severe fire of the enemy, where he was severely wounded." 

It had been a fight before the strongest portion of Bragg s army and resulted in 
a capture of one of the strongest positions in the zone of the battle. Furthermore, 
it was a vindication of General Thomas and the Army of the Cumberland; and the 
signal for the immediate relief of Burnside at Knoxville. 




Private, Co. A, 15th Ohio Vet. Vol. Inf. 
Born at New Concord, Ohio, Oct. 2d, 1844. 

"Pwo incidents occurred at the battle of Missionary 
Ridge, November 24 and 25, 1863, which stand 
out prominently among the many gallant deeds of 
the Union soldiers engaged in that battle. In both 
instances Ohio men were the heroes, and in both, 
too, the capture of the Confederate colors was the 
prize of courage and daring. 

Private Robert B. Brown, of Company A, Fif 
teenth Ohio Infantry, secured the standard of the 
Ninth Mississippi and took the standard-bearer 
along with the trophy as his prisoner. Corporal 
George Green, of Company H, Eleventh Ohio Infan 
try, was one of the first to scale the enemy s works, 
and after a fierce hand-to-hand struggle with the 
rebel color-bearer, likewise carried off the Confed 
erate flag of another rebel regiment. Both incidents are highly dramatic. Private 
Brown s regiment was part of the Union force, which, on November 24, was ordered 
to make a demonstration on Missionary Ridge. The line advanced to Orchard Knob 
and rested there until two o clock on the next day, when orders were given to take 
the rifle pits at the foot of the ridge. The troops made the advance, and, without 
meeting with serious opposition, continued up the ridge. Just as the Fifteenth Ohio 
reached the crest, Private Brown espied a Confederate color-bearer. His mind was 
at once set upon the possession of the rebel flag. Not heeding the severe fire, con 
centrated upon him, he ran up to the color-bearer. 

" Surrender ! " he shouted with a threatening gesture, which so impressed the 
rebel, that he hastened to comply. Brown took the flag and the prisoner to his 
commander, who was proud of the private s achievement. 
Private Green s regiment, on November 25, was or 
dered out on the Rossville Road to support a section 
of artillery sent to shell the camp of the enemy at 
the base of Missionary Ridge. Nothing was encountered 
there and the regiment subsequently returned and re 
joined the brigade. Later it moved with the brigade 
and took a position in front of Fort Wood. Having 
been formed in double column at half distance, the 
regiment deployed, and, at a run, moved across the 

open ground up Missionary Ridge and against a GEORGE GREEN, 

severe fire of musketry and artillery. The breast- private, co. H. nth Ohio infantry. 

Born in Elsham, England, 1840. 


works of the enemy on the top of the ridge had to be taken by storm. The Eleventh 
Ohio made a bold dash for the guns. They met with a most decided resistance and 
many a brave fellow lost his life in the attempt to be the first one to scale the rebel 
works. Corporal Green f ought with undaunted courage. Though he su\v a number 
of his comrades killed at his side, he bravely approached the works, and with one 
daring leap, bounded into the rebel fortifications. He was soon joined by others and 
then a fierce struggle ensued. Green grappled with the bearer of a Confederate 
battle-flag and wrenched from him the colors. The fight ended in a complete vic 
tory for the Ohioans. 



5 WAR DEPARTMENT found Drummer 
John S. Kountz. of Company G. Thirty- 
seventh Ohio Infantry, guilty of disobedience 
to orders in throwing down his drum and 
joining in the charge at Missionary Ridge, 
but for his gallantry on this occasion he was 
awarded the Medal of Honor. When the 
order was given to advance from the tem 
porary works from which the enemy had 
been driven that morning. Kountz. who was 
only seventeen years of age. threw aside his 
drum and joined in the attack, urging and 
encouraging his comrades. Twice the bri 
gade charged upon the Confederates in their 
entrenched position, and twice the shattered 
column was driven hack. On the second 
assault. Kountz was shot through the leg 
and very dangerously wounded close to the 
enemy s lines. 

When the brigade got back to its old position. Captain Hamm. of Company A, 
told the boys of Company G, that Kountz was lying in the front severely wounded, 
and asked : "Who will go and get him out ? " Private William Schmidt shouted : "T 
will," and made for the front, advancing as far as he could under cover of the hill. 
When he came to the point where cover was no longer available, he made a dash for 
the spot where Kountz was lying, the enemy pouring a heavy fire upon him. Kountz 
shouted: "Save yourself. 1 am a goner anyhow." but Schmidt picked him up on 
his back and in spite of all protests, carried him back to the Union lines. Kountz 
leg was so badly shattered that it had to be amputated the same night, When he 
was picked up, he was nearer the rebel works than any other man of his regiment. 


Drummer. Co. <i . 37th Ohio Inf. 

Born in Lucas Co., Ohio, March 25, 1846. 





Private Co. K,31*t Ohio Inf. 

Born at Harmony. Clark Co., Ohio. 

Nov. :). lS4:s. 

HE conduct of soldiers like that of Private James C. 
Walker, of Company K, Thirty-first Ohio Infantry, 
contributed a large share to the final success of the Union 
cause. It was at the battle of Missionary Ridge that 
Private Walker distinguished himself. Though wounded 
he could not bear to see the colors of his regiment 
drop and seized them just as the color-bearer, mortally 
wounded, fell to the ground. Throughout the engagement 
he carried the stars and stripes, the possession of which 
inspired him to a degree of courage akin to heroism. 

Private Walker himself tells a graphic story of the 
thrilling events of that day, as far as he was concerned, 
as follows : 

" Tin-chin s Brigade was drawn up in two lines to attack the Confederate position ? 
but as the second line overlapped the first, our regiment was taken out to form a 
third line. On arriving at the Confederate breastworks at the foot of the ridge, we 
found them filled with men of the first and second lines, which left us without 
protection from the enemy s musketry fire. It was less dangerous to advance than 
to retreat, and Colonel Lister rode over the breastworks, shouting: Forward Thirty- 
first. We swarmed over and the whole brigade followed. We made no attempt 
to keep in line ; it was everyone for himself, each striving to be first to gain the top 
of the ridge. The Thirty-first started up the ravine to the left of the spur known as 
De Long s Point, but we found that this would lead us into an angle of the rebel 
line, so we turned to the right and came out on the top of the spur. 

"George Wilson, of Company G, and I were among the first to get to this point. 
We laid down at the foot of the Confederate breastworks, and Sam Wright of Com 
pany K, came up and asked us : What in hell are you going to do next ? We 
told him to wait and see. As the other boys came up, they dropped alongside of us 
until we numbered twenty all told. I then called out : Boys are you ready ? and 
they replied : Yes, go ahead. We climbed to the top of the works and looked 
down upon- the Confederates, formed in tw r o lines, one kneeling in the trench with 
fixed bayonets, and the other lying down behind them. With a yell we jumped 
down into the trench on top of them, and a hand-to-hand fight followed, with mus 
kets, bayonets, and even fists. We had broken the Confederate line, and as our 
men came up to support us, we faced right and left, and kept widening the gap. 

"One of the Confederates who had thrown down his musket and held up his 
hands in token of surrender, fired at us after we had passed and hit one of our boys on 
the knee. I turned on him with the butt of my gun, but before I could strike, Sam 
Wright pushed me to one side, and said : Let me fix him. Placing his musket 


against the man s breast, he fired, literally tearing him to pieces. Looking at the 
mangled body, he said : Now damn you, you have surrendered. 

"As I turned to push on, I was struck in the right breast with a Minie ball which 
knocked the breath out of me and stunned me, making ten holes through my 
blanket, blouse and shirt. Our color-bearer, Corporal George W. Franklin, of Com 
pany K, had been struck in the arm by a piece of shell as he came over the works, 
and was on the point of falling from loss of blood when I came to my senses. I 
jumped up and caught the colors just in time to save them from going down. 


"A rebel battery 
a short distance to the 
left, opened a terrible fire 
of grape and canister upon us. 
T rushed forward to the first gun of the 
battery, got in between the piece and the wheel, and 

with my left hand pulled the fuse out of the gun, just as the cannoneer jerked 
the lanyard. Sam Wright got in on the other side, rested his musket on the wheel, 
and shot the officer in command of the battery. As the officer fell, his sword flew 
out of his hand and came end over end to the feet of Captain A. S. Scott, of the 

"We drove off the rebel gunners, slewed the guns around and poured their con 
tents into their late owners. After capturing the battery, we swept on until the 
Confederates, being re-enforced, made a desperate charge and drove us over the 


breastworks. The ridge at this point was so steep that we could fall back no fur 
ther, and we were compelled to hold our ground. Here we fought for about twenty 
minutes with the breastworks between us, and the only thing that saved us was 
that we were on lower ground and the rebels overshot us. 

"Our troops attacked the flank and rear of the enemy s line, while we leaped 
over the breastwork and charged them from the front. 1 noticed the color-bearer 
of the Forty-first Alabama, about twenty paces in front of me, endeavoring to rally 
his regiment. 1 rushed at him and caught hold of the flag, but in the struggle we 
fell and the staff was broken. The rebel surrendered and I rolled up his flag and 
carried it under my left arm till I met Sam Wright and gave it to him. Our own 
colors I continued to carry throughout the fight and brought them out with 
eighty-nine bullet holes in them and ten in the staff." 


"THE quick 
1 wit and 
action of 
Martin E. Scheibner, 
of Company (I, Nine 
tieth Pennsylvania Infantry, 
prevented a disaster at the 
battle of Mine Run, Novem- 
26 and 27, 1863. The fighting in 
that locality consisted of a series 
of operations between the forces of Gen 
eral Meade and General Lee with en 
gagements at Racoon Ford, Bartlett s 
Mills, Robertson s Tavern, Kelley s Ford 
and New Hope. During these short, 
but sharp contests, the Federal forces consisted of 
five corps of infantry and artillery and two divisions 
of cavalry. The Ninetieth Pennsylvania was part of 
these troops. 

The incident, which furnished Private Scheibner 
an opportunity to distinguish himself, when Lee took a strong position at Mine 
Run, shortly after being defeated by General Sedgwick s Corps at Kelley s Ford. 


Private. Co. G, 90th Pennsylvania Inf. 
Born in Russia. 


The Confederates were shelling the Union forces and doing considerable damage, 
so that General Meade decided upon an energetic course of action. Company G 
of the Pennsylvania regiment was ordered to charge across the Run and up-hill to 
the fortifications of the rebel army. 

Simultaneously with the order, came a shell from the enemy directly in the 
midst of the infantrymen. The unexploded weapon of death with its rapidly burn 
ing fuse caused consternation amounting almost to a panic within the Union ranks. 
The line formation in the immediate vicinity, where the shell had fallen, was 
instantly and completely shattered. Some of the men threw themselves flat upon 
the ground, with eyes shut; some of them running to the nearest shelter, how 
ever inadequate the protection offered might be. A panic, the result of which 
might have been disastrous indeed, was imminent. Private Scheibner glanced at the 
rapidly burning fuse. He noticed the men running in all directions. One thought 
rlashed through his mind. He decided to take his chances. Quickly removing the 
stopper from his canteen, he poured the contents, coffee, on the fizzing, burning 
fuse. The glimmering fire was extiguished and all danger averted. A second or so 
later and the explosion would have been inevitable. The fuse had just about reached 
the shell. Many of his comrades had watched him with abated breath and cheered 
loudly when they perceived his success. The men now came back, reformed and 
made the charge as ordered. It was the deed of less than a half minute that accom 
plished this result. 

A Medal of Honor was the appropriate reward for this act of presence of mind 
and courage. 


ninth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, 
had the singular good fortune to capture a flag 
from the midst of two hundred rebels. He 
gives the following account of it : 

"My regiment was w r ith General Burnside 
at Knoxville, East Tenn., from November 
17 till December 5, 1863, and during all that 
time we were continually under fire from the 
rifle-pits of the enemy, which were being drawn 
closer to our earthworks day by day. On the 
night of November 28th a furious assault was 

made upon the left of our line, and our pickets were driven in, contesting the 
ground step by step. My regiment was ordered to the rear of our principal-earth- 


Private, 29th Massachusetts Vol. Infantry. 
Born at Ipswich, Mass., April 13, 1845. 


work, Fort Sanders, where we remained nearly all night. Just before daylight the 
enemy made a demonstration at the extreme left of our line and my regiment was 
hurried off to strengthen that point. 

" It was a bit- ? terly cold night, and I had gone to the rear to warm myself 
at a fire there, ^f\ and when I came back 1 found that the regiment had gone. 

Just then 


the enemy opened a fierce fire of artillery and musketry on 
the fort, as a prelude to our assault, so I stayed where I was. 
The rebel infantry poured in upon us, scaling the parapet 
and climbing through the embrasures, but as fast as they 
did so, we shot them down, and they rolled back into the 
ditch which surrounded the fort. One color-bearer planted 
his flag upon the parapet, but immediately it was 
snatched away, and he was shot dead. Never in my 
life did I experience such a savage feeling. It 
seemed to me that I could not load and fire 
fast enough, and although my fingers were 
numb with cold, I was in a fever of excite 

"This assault was repulsed, but an 
other was immediately made by fresh 
troops. Three of the enemy s colors 
were planted upon the parapet, 
but were quickly shot 
away, and a hand-to- 
hand fight followed, 
the officers using their 
swords, the men their 
bayonets and the butts 
of their guns. Even 
the artillery-men took 
part, using their axes 
and the rammers of 
the guns as weapons, 
the enemy being final 
ly obliged to withdraw, 
after losing heavily 

"The retreating rebels 
took a position a short 
distance from the fort, and for a 
time kept up a scattering fire, 
aided by their artillery. General 
Ferrero, who commanded the fort, 


called out : There are lots of them in the ditch. Go out and get them. A detail 
from our regiment was sent to the left, and one from the Second Michigan to the right 
to sweep the ditch. The first detail entered the ditch from the rifle pits on the left 
and passed around the salient of the fort. I wanted to go with them but was quite 
a distance away when they started, and as I saw I could not catch up by following, 
I adopted another plan. 

"Waiting until I thought they had entered the ditch, I jumped upon the parapet, 
slid down the outside of the fort and landed among the rebels. I was the only 
Yankee in sight. Hearing the detail from my regiment cheering to the left, I de 
manded the surrender of those about me, and they threw down their guns. I 
pushed towards a color-bearer who was attempting to hide his colors and with my 
bayonet at his breast, I demanded his surrender. He handed over the colors, 
which were those of the Sixteenth Georgia, and 1 took him prisoner. Our detail 
arrived just then, and turning my prisoner over to them, he was marched back 
along with some 200 others, through the ditch into the works. We also recovered 
another rebel flag from under the dead body of the color-bearer. 

"A wounded rebel in the ditch asked me to take him inside |the works as he 
was in danger of being shot where he lay. I made him climb over the dead and 
wounded who lay in great numbers at this angle of the fort. I passed up the colors 
to him and told him to stand where he was till I climbed up. Then I placed the 
colors and my gun over my left shoulder and supported him with my right arm, thus 
exposing him to the rebel fire. They seemed to recognize him, for not a shot was 
fired at us, as we walked a distance of over a hundred yards along the front of the 
rebel line. When I got the wounded man into our works, I turned and waved the 
colors to the rebels, who saluted me with a volley, and the bullets whistled about 
my ears. I did not stop there any longer than was necessary, but got down behind 
the earthworks. 

"On arriving at headquarters, General Burnside received the colors, took me by 
the hand and complimented me in the most flattering language." 

Knoxville. On the 4th of September, 1863, Burnside witli about 12,000 troops entered Knoxville, 
Tenn., and immediately began to strengthen the defenses around the city, so that by the 17th of November 
he had shut himself up. He held the city and the surrounding country, though the nearest Union forces 
were in the vicinity of Missionary Ridge. 

Burnside being thus isolated, Bragg sent Longstreet against him with 20,000 troops, and on the 29th 
of November Longstreet began a terrific artillery fire upon the Union works. Burnside, however, held 
his fire until four Confederate brigades advanced to charge upon the parapet, when lie opened up with his 
guns with such deadly effect that Longstreet was compelled to withdraw, leaving behind more than 1,000 
killed and wounded, while his own loss was less than twenty. 

Sherman s army, which had in the meantime been ordered to the relief of Burnside, had forced its 
marches in order to arrive at Knoxville before it was too late, but was met by an officer of Burnside s staff, 
who announced that Longstreet had been utterly repulsed. 

When Sherman entered the city he was greatly surprised to find that the garrison was not starved 
and demoralized but that Burnside s army was well supplied with rations, furnished by Union sympa 
thizers in the South. 

Burnside s loss during the Knoxville campaign was about 600 ; Longstreet s was more than 1,000. 




Private, Co. IT, 5th Iml. Cav. 
Burn in Monroe Co., Ind., Oct. 0, I,s:j4. 

on the most precarious and interesting situations 
in the War of the Rebellion was furnished by the 
investment of Knoxville, where General Burnside and 
his army were cooped up for a considerable time, very 
much to the alarm and anxiety of President Lincoln 
and his cabinet, as w r ell as that of General Grant. On 
the other hand Burnside confirmed his previous record 
as an able soldier by maintaining his position intact, in 
the face of a bitter siege, conducted by General Long- 

With the Chattanooga situation taken well in hand 
General Grant began the campaign for the relief of 
General Burnside, and soon General Longstreet was 
forced to raise the siege in order to turn his attention to 
the Federal cavalry, who were harrassing his rear. 

This brigade consisted of the Fifth Indiana and Four 
teenth Illinois Cavalry, the Twenty-first Ohio Battery, the Sixty-fifth, One hundred 
iind sixteenth and One hundred and eighteenth Indiana Volunteers, under command 
of Colonel Graham. At Walker s Ford on the Clinch River, December 2, 1863, the 
Sixth Indiana Cavalry, under Colonel Thomas H. Butler, was suddenly attacked at 
daylight, many of the cavalry being still asleep. The Confederates had, during the 
night, captured the outer picket post at the gap entrance to the mountain, where 
the Manordsville Road leads toward Walker s Ford and they had done this without 
discovery. Then, just at dawn, they drove in the reserve pickets and so reached the 
Indiana men, who occupied the elevated ground north of the Clinch River. The 
Confederates rested their right a few hundred yards to the southwest, close to an 
area of timber, where they had been driven by the Indiana cavalry. A hot struggle, 
lasting five hours, followed, Colonel Butler contesting stubbornly every inch of 

The Confederates had just made a spirited attack on the right wing of the 
cavalry, driving it back, when Private Louis J. Brunei 1 , Company H, and acting 
orderly of Colonel Butler, was dispatched with orders to Major Mell H. Soper to 
occupy some timber on the left, extending to the mountain. 

Major Soper at once began executing the move, when the Confederates made a 
spirited attack on the right wing of the cavalry and drove it back for some distance 
though they failed to break the Union lines. Then by a quick move they extended 
their lines to the mountains, cutting off the major and his batallion. Curiously 
enough neither the major nor the rebel commander realized the importance of the 
situation; Major Soper was ignorant of the danger from capture, the Confederates 


did not know that they had the Union men at bay. Colonel Butler, however, fnlly 
appreciated the seriousness of the situation, and at once consulted with the officers 
of his staff. " Soper might extricate himself by making for a small ravine in the 
mountain," he suggested. Just then Brunei- rode up to the group of officers. Salut 
ing the colonel, he placed himself at the latter s disposal for any service which 
might l)e required to accomplish the rescue of Major Soper. Colonel Butler accepted 
the offer and without losing time Brunei* rode away, toward the lines of enemy, 
hidden from their view by high banks and bushes. Presently he reached a road lead 
ing to the Confederate line and quite close thereto. The distance from the position 


they occupied to the timber which Bruner desired to reach, was very slight. He 
plied his spurs, and lying close to the back of his mount, dashed to and through the 
Confederate line to safely reach the timber two or three minutes later." 

So unexpectedly and suddenly had Bruner made his appearance that the Confed 
erates were too much dazed to understand the situation until it was too late. They 
fired very few shots at the daring rider, who got through their lines without injury. 
Once among the trees, Bruner made his way to Major Soper, told him of his precarious 
position and pointed out the ravine as a means of escape. The major immediately 
dismounted his battalion and accompanied by Bruner, reached and entered the 
ravine and so returned safely to Colonel Butler s line. 




Lieut.-Col., 13th Maine Infantry. 
Born at Bangui 1 . Maine, Dec. 10, 18*! 

the close of 1863 and the opening of 1864, 
Major-General C. C. Washburn, in command 
of the coast expedition with headquarters at 
Decrow s Point, Texas, ordered Brigadier-General T. 
E. G. Ransom to order a reconnoissance of the Mata- 
gorda Peninsula. Accordingly, General Hansom sent 
Lieutenant-Colonel Frank S. Hesseltine, command 
ing the Thirteenth Maine Infantry, at Fort Esper- 
anza, to carry out the mission. 

Colonel Hesseltine and 100 members of his 
regiment embarked on the gunboat Granite City on 
the evening of December 28, 1868, and during that 
night proceeded along the shore of the Matagorda 
Peninsula to a point seven miles distant from its 
head. In the morning a landing through the surf 
was effected, the intention being to simply make the 

reconnoissance ordered. A strong southerly wind rose piling up so strong a surf 
that all communication with the gunboat was cut off and as far as immediate sup 
port was concerned the little band was put upon its own resources. 

Meanwhile Lieutenant Hamin, who had been sent with a small force on a scout 
up the peninsula, returned. Thereupon Colonel Hesseltine deployed a line of skirm 
ishers nearly across the neck of land and moved his force down under convoy of the 
gunboat, thus driving back and cutting off the Confederate pickets. Because of 
the numerous bayous, the force had made but seven or eight miles advance at two 
o clock in the afternoon, and Colonel Hesseltine was obliged to shorten his skirmish 
line. Just then, too, he was warned by the steam whistle of his convoy, of danger 
in the rear. The colonel, by using his glasses, discovered the van of a body of cav 
alry (they were two regiments under command of the Confederate Colonel A. Buchel) 
moving down the peninsula. Under a heavy fire from the thirty-pound Parrott of 
the Granite City, the enemy moved in until within half an hour their skirmishers 
were close up to the Maine soldiers. When they were within range, Colonel Hessel 
tine commanded the rear line to face about and gave Buchel s force a volley, with 
good effect. Then the Confederates attempted a rapid flank movement, but Colonel 
Hesseltine quickly assembled his force by countermarching, formed his line face to 
the foe and in line of battle extending across the narrow neck of land, only two 
hundred yards wide at this point because of the setting in of a bayou. 

The enemy again changed direction, and attempted, by wading the bayou, to 
gain the rear of the Yankees. At this, Hesseltine ordered a backward movement, 
quick time, and riding ahead selected a capital defensible position, where he halted 


his force. Giving the order promptly, his men, as if by magic, and while Buchel 
was forming his force for attack, threw up a barricade of driftwood, logs and 
branches, projecting and forming an ugly looking redan, its pan coupe on a sand 
ridge, its gorge out in the surf. Then the men wheeled in on the beach and were 
ready. The Confederates, already formed, advanced, hesitated, halted. A small 
party rode up to reconnoitre and moved back again; then they moved the force 
obliquely for a fierce charge on the left. They halted and while they were deliber 
ating, darkness came with a heavy mist. Finally they withdrew while the Yankees 
rang out three cheers and a tiger. 


Two bonfires at the right and left of Colonel Hesseltine s position, told the gun 
boat Scioto, coming in from a reconnoissance up the coast, of the whereabouts of 
the Maine men, and the Granite City went back for re-enforcements. Expecting an 
attack in the morning, Hesseltine kept his men at work on the barricade all night, 
but beyond a few shots from the southern pickets, but little trouble \vas experienced. 
A foggy morning prevented any serious demonstrations, hut at noon the Confederate 
gunboat J. G. Carr ran down inside and to a point opposite and began shelling the 
hastily constructed fortification. At 3 P. M., being without food or water and con 
cluding that the enemy had beaten back all re-enforcements sent from Decrow s 


Point, Colonel Hesseltine moved his hundred men cautiously and began making his 
way down the peninsular. At ten o clock that night the party was struck by the 
severest norther of the winter and at one o clock in the morning the bivouac was 
made. Resuming the march in the morning they plodded along until 2 P. M., when 
twenty miles from the fort they were discovered by the Sciota and with great 
difficulty were taken aboard. Not a man or equipment was lost during the entire 



Sergeant, Co. M, 15th Penn. ("av 

Born in Chester Co., Pa., July 

12, 1839. 

FTER the battle of Chickamauga, the Fifteenth Penn 
sylvania Cavalry was sent out to the Sequatchie 
Valley to forage for the relief of the Army of the Cumber 
land, penned up at Chattanooga. 

On the 14th of January, 1864, while campaigning 
along the French Broad River, word w r as received that 
General Robert B. Vance had captured a wagon train 
of Union supplies at Sevierville, besides 200 infantrymen 
and numerous Union citizens, and that he was retreat 
ing towards Ashville. 

Colonel William I. Palmer, commanding the Fifteenth 
Pennsylvania Cavalry, started after Vance, whose passage 
being blocked by large trees thrown across the road by 

Northern sympathizers, was soon overtaken. Colonel Palmer detailed a party of 
twenty men to charge through the enemy s rear, which w r as done successfully, and 
then the general charge followed, resulting in a total surprise of the enemy and the 
recapture of all the property. A small squad commanded by Sergeant Everett W. 
Anderson, of Company M, was looking after the wounded, and thereby became 
scattered. Thus it happened that Sergeant Anderson, while dismounted and caring 
for the wounded, had his attention called by a comrade, to the approach of five 
Confederates. Quickly mounting his horse, Anderson w r heeled about and faced Gen 
eral Vance, two aides and two orderlies. Covering the General with his revolver, 
Anderson demanded their surrender. Seeing that his captor was fingering the trig 
ger of his gun suggestively, General Vance threw his revolver to the ground, at the 
same time objecting to surrendering to an enlisted man. He said that he would 
surrender only to a commissioned officer. Anderson thought differently, however, 
and completed the capture of the five men before his comrades had reached the 
prisoners and their keeper. 

News of a capture brought Colonel Palmer to the scene, and saluting, he extended 
his hand with : "I am happy to meet you, General Vance." The reply of the 
prisoner was: "Much more so than I am, under the circumstances." 




First Lieutenant. CD. II. !>th Vermont 

I n fa n t ry . 

Highest rank attained: Bvt. Maj-Gen. 
Burn at Burlington, Vt., March ->2, 1843. 

N February 2, 1864, at Newport Barracks, North 
Carolina, the Union troops, comprising some 
seven hundred and fifty men, with one piece of 
artillery, were attacked by the Confederates under 
General Martin, who had about two thousand 
infantry, fourteen pieces of artillery and four 
hundred cavalry, and who had outflanked the 
Federals from the commencement of the engage 
ment. The left of the Union line lay near the 
river, w r hile the right was in the woods, and com 
manded by First Lieutenant Theodore S. Peck, 
Company H, Ninth Vermont Infantry. 

The line was contin 
ually pressed back by 
the enemy, and made 
eleven different stands 
before reaching the 
Newport River, over 
which there were two 
bridges, one a railroad 
bridge, and the other 

called the county bridge, 
located about a quarter of 
a mile above the former. 

The location of tbe 
county bridge was at a nar 
row point of the Newport 
River; which was very deep 
just there. The bridge \vas 
about forty feet long and 
with one approach down a 
hill not very steep, but with 

bluffs upon either side and woods down the bank. 
On the opposite side of the river was a marsh full of 
rushes, dead and dried, and with a level road leading 
through it from the bridge to the railway crossing. 

The Confederates pressed so closely that there was 
barely time to fire the railroad bridge with turpentine 
and tar. Lieutenant Peck with his men was ordered 

to fire the county bridge, and was told that he would find on the opposite side 
of the river, near the bridge head, two companies of cavalry, with plenty of 


First Lieutenant and Adjutant, 

.ith Vermont Infantry. 
Highest rank attained: Captain. 
Born at Walden, Vt., Feb. 3, 1837. 


First Lieutenant. Co. A.Hth Vermont Inf. 
Born at St. Albans.Vt.. April 1. is: .! . 


turpentine and tar for his use as soon as he had crossed, but the bridge must be 
burned at all hazards, and the enemy prevented from crossing, for it was well known 
throughout the entire command that its salvation depended upon the burning of 
both these bridges. Should either one be left undestroyed and the enemy permitted 
to cross, the chances were that what was left of the Union forces would be captured. 

Lieutenant Peck had made a desperate light all the afternoon, and had been the 
farthest out toward the enemy the entire time, holding them in check until they 
had broken through the line on his left. At this time the Union troops had mostly 
crossed the railroad and county bridges, and were rapidly falling back down the 
county road toward^Beaufort, while Lieutenant Peck s rear guard was hotly engaged 
with the Confederates, who were close at his heels. 

He had sent a non-commissioned officer to the bridge to see if everything was in 
readiness to fire the same after he had crossed it. The sergeant had just reported 
that there was no tar, no turpentine, and no cavalry; in fact there was nothing all 
had fled. Lieutenant Peck, leaving one-half of his men with their officers, fighting 
the enemy, ran with the other half down the hill to the bridge and determined to 
destroy the same, if possible. Finding that some of the planks were not spiked 
down, he had these torn up, and, being fortunate in finding plenty of dry grass in 
the vicinity, which his men pulled from the ground, he had the same placed in readi 
ness for burning the bridge, then ordered his men, who were fighting, to stop firing 
and rush across. This order was instantly obeyed, although some were killed and 
wounded in leaving the enemy, who came forward on the run, increasing their 
musketry fire. 

As soon as the men from the hill had crossed the bridge, they commenced firing 
upon the enemy, while the others of the party ignited the dead grass. The Confed 
erates brought up a battery and poured in grape and canister. 

In the rush, Sergeant Charles F. Branch was wounded and left behind, a fact 
which, instantly it became known to Peck, caused him to rush back across the. now 
burning bridge, to the sergeant, and half carrying him in his arms, succeeded, in 
spite of a hot shower of bullets and shell and in momentary danger of death from 
the flaming bridge, in carrying him safely across to the main body of his forces. 

Meanwhile the little band fought the enemy across the river until both ends of 
the bridge fell, a mass of burning embers, when the retreat was taken up. As the 

Newport Barracks On February 2, 1864, a large force of Confederates, under General Martin, made 
an attack upon the Union lines at (wales Creek, N. C. Though vastly outnumbered, the Federals repulsed 
the rebels twice, but were finally compelled to fall back. The Confederates then advanced upon Newport 
Barracks, throwing their right flank across the railroad to prevent a retreat. After some severe fighting, 
the small Union forces retired across the railroad and county bridges toward Newport Village. Tin- 
bridges were destroyed by the retreating Federals. From Newport, a further retreat was made to More- 
head City, where the further advance of the Confederates was checked. The losses during the several en 
gagements were small, though those of the Federals were somewhat heavier than the enemy s, because the 
Union men were mostly raw recruits. 



Confederates were obliged to build a new bridge before crossing the river, the Union 
forces gained an advantage of three hours and so made good their escape. 

At the time Lieutenant Peck was holding and burning the county bridge, at New 
port Barracks, Lieutenant Erastus W. Jewett was given command of a picket squad 
of about seventy men, with orders to hold and burn the railroad bridge, which, as 
stated before, was some three-quarters of a mile below the county bridge. He also 
was to prevent the enemy, who had a large force on the other side, from crossing 
and capturing Newport Barracks and its defenders. Relative to this deed Lieu 
tenant Jewett says: "We held the bridge and twice drove the enemy back to the 
cover of the woods. They then shelled us with a battery at about 600 yards, for 
fifteen minutes, but as soon as they stopped, we were at them again with our 
muskets, and succeeded in keeping them back from the bridge till it was burned, so 
that they could not cross the river. No doubt it was some of the hardest rear 
guard work ever performed, and my men well deserved all the praise that was be 
stowed upon them later." 

At the outset of the enterprise assigned to Lieutenants Peck and Jewett, Lieu 
tenant Josiah C. Livingstone volunteered his services, which offer was accepted. 
His was no mean share in the enterprise. He personally supervised the burning of 
the bridge and was among the last to fall back. In retiring he passed a wounded 
comrade who was unable to move. Lieutenant Livingstone came to his assistance 
and helped him to reach the Union lines in safety. It was for such loyal duty 
that Lieutenant Livingstone s superior officers recommended him for the Medal of 




First Lieutenant, Co. G. 132d New York Inf. 
Born in New York in 1838. 

February 1, 1864, at 2:30 o clock in the 
morning, General Pickett, of the Army )~ 
of Virginia, attacked the outposts of the Union 
forces at a point where the Neuse Road crosses 
Batchelder s Creek, about eight miles from New 
Berne, North Carolina. At that point the Federal 
force consisted of only eleven men under Lieutenant 
Abram P. Haring, of Company G, One hundred and 
thirty-second New York Infantry. The evident pur 
pose of the rebels was the capture of New Berne, 
which was stocked with ammunition, clothing 
and general stores in large quantities. General 
Pickett led his force divided into three columns 
and chose a most favorable time for his attack, 
for a fog and a light drizzling rain covered their 
advance, besides cutting off all Union signal 
communication. The strength of the Confederates was estimated as high as 11,000. 

"The location of our small reserve," Lieutenant Haring narrates, "was in a 
naturally strong position. The creek was fifty feet wide in front, with breastworks 
on either side about fifty feet long. During the preceding night we had taken up 
the bridge, and with the timbers and planks we constructed a small but strong 
breastwork, behind which we stationed ourselves. 

"About 3:30 o clock in the morning during a heavy fog, the Confederates at 
tacked us in force, but were unable to dislodge us. I immediately dispatched a 
messenger to headquarters informing the commanding officer of the situation. In 
the meantime the enemy, feeling conscious of their strength, made a second at 
tack, which like the first proved futile. We were keeping up a steady fire during 
this attack, and now our ammunition was pretty well exhausted, but the little we 
had left we used to good advantage." 

Thus did Lieutenant Haring and the eleven men of his command hold the pow 
erful army of the rebel general at bay for several hours. All attempts to dislodge 
the Spartan band from the bridge and free the way for further advance, failed. 
Then batteries of artillery were brought up, but still Lieutenant Haring and his men 
refused to yield. In the meantime the defenders of the bridge were re-enforced by 
150 men from the One hundred and thirty-second New York, and the rebels seeing 
that further attempts to dislodge them were useless changed their plan of attack, 
constructed a bridge across the creek at a point some distance below, and there at 
tacked Lieutenant Haring s little force from the rear, thus driving them out of their 


This is the praise which Captain Charles G. Smith, Lieutenant Haring s superior 
officer, in his official report, bestows upon the hero : 

"I feel it my duty to mention several instances of coolness and heroism, partic 
ularly that of Lieutenant Haring s brave defense of the Neuse bridge, which is 
worthy of especial commendation." 

Still more flattering is the following official reference to the incident by Colonel 
Claassen : 

"First Lieutenant Abram P. Haring commanded the reserve at the attack at the 
Neuse bridge and with eleven men heroically held that all-important point for 
hours, against thousands of the enemy." 



,URING the last three months of 1863 and the first 
three months of 1864, the Army of the Potomac 
had no great battles, the cavalry being chiefly engaged 
in raiding under Generals Custer, Smith, Gregg, Merritt 
and Kilpatrick, while the centers of general interest were 
Chattanooga and other points on the way to Atlanta. The 
situation along the Potomac had been extremely unsatis 
factory. President Lincoln had just issued a call for 200,000 
additional men, which, with the promotion of General 
Grant to lieutenant-General in command of the Federal 
Armies, entirely restored confidence in the north. Mean 
while the several brigades of cavalry in the east had been 
riding through the entire territory from Harper s Ferry to 
the James River. 

On the 16th of March, 1864, Corporal Andrew Traynor, 
of the First Michigan Cavalry, was detailed with one pri 
vate on scout duty in the vicinity of Mason s Hill, Virginia. He says : 

" The Confederates were very numerous in the neighborhood, and in fact that 
whole section of the country was filled with men from both sides, looking for each 
other. My companion arid 1 were making our way cautiously through a bit of level 
country covered with pine, in an effort to locate a considerable force of the enemy. 
We had just wormed our way into a dense thicket and out again, when we were sur 
prised and captured by four heavily armed guerrillas. We were taken a short dis 
tance to another spot in the woods, where there was a civilian who, with his team 
and wagon, had been captured. Leaving two of their companions to guard the 
captives, the other two guerrillas went back to the woods to return again very 


Corporal, First Michigan Cavalry. 
Born at Newark, X. J., Feb. 9, 1843. 


shortly with three more prisoners, stragglers from the Union lines. Again leaving 
the party under guard of two companions, the other two returned to the road for 
further prizes. 

" Here it was that I communicated my intention to escape, telling my companions 
to watch me closely and keep by my side. Selecting an opportune moment, I sprang 
at the two guards, and, before they could fire their guns or otherwise give a signal, I 

was engaged in a sharp 
struggle with both. They 
were able bodied and well 
armed men, but my attack 
had been so sudden and 
well directed that almost 
in an instant I had both 
of their guns and had 
handed one to the civilian, 
who had kept right at my 
elbow. Just then the 
other two guerrillas re 
turned hastily and before 
they could realize the 
situation the civilian and 
I both fired, each one 
dropping a man. At this 
moment the two disarmed 
guerrillas made their es 
cape in one direction, 
while my five companions 
and myself made our 
escape in an opposite 

Upon getting clear of 
the woods, Traynor and 
his companion separated, 
while the other soldiers 
started toward the Union 
lines. Traynor and his 
companion resumed their 
scout, but had gone only 


a short distance when they 

were sighted by the escaped guerrillas and a squad of their companions and were 
pursued for more than two miles. At last, however, they made good their second 
escape by reaching the Union lines in safety. 




Private, Co. H, 115th New York Infantry. 
Born in Scotland in 184.5. 

JUST after the battle of Olustee, Fla., between 
y the Federal forces commanded by General 
Seymore, and the Confederates under Generals 
Finnegan and Gardner which was engaged in 
by 5,000 Union and as many more Southern sol 
diers the town of Palatka was captured and was 
placed under provost guard, Company H, One 
hundred and fifteenth New York Infantry, with 
. Captain S. P. Smith as provost marshal. All 
through the last week in February and the month 
of April, 1864, the town and its vicinity were 
continually harassed by bushwhackers, who raided 
plantations and dwellings, captured outposts, and 
stole stock and other property. 

Just before sunrise, April 1, 1864, Company H 
was ordered out for roll call, after which the 

captain asked for twenty-five volunteers for an expedition up the river, the object 
being the capture of a Confederate picket known to be stationed about thirty-two 
miles away. Twenty-five men stepped forward promptly, after which they were 
ordered to get breakfast and put one day s rations into their haversacks. This was 
done and as the sun came up over the horizon the volunteers marched to the land 
ing and went aboard a small tug boat in waiting. Among their number was Private 
Benjamin Thakrah, of Company H, who relates what followed : 

"The picket guard we were after were well armed and mounted; thoroughly 
acquainted with the swamp-ridden country and its people and their habits; and 
were regularly relieved by details from the large force of cavalry which was in the 
neighborhood. Indeed, the utmost vigilance and quiet were required during the boat 
ride in order that the advance might not be discovered and reported in time to put 
the picket on guard. And so, with our soldiers lying under cover in the engine 
room, in the tiny cabin and in the wheel-house, the tug boat steamed along to 
within three miles of our destination, when we were pulled in small boats to a point 
near where the Confederate picket was .stationed. 

"On reaching shore, our squad, deployed as skirmishers, were required to proceed 
alternately through swamps with water to our waists and over little knolls which 
were fairly baking under the intense heat of the tropical sun, until we reached a 
house which stood half concealed by a hedge of small bushes and a board fence. 
Keeping out of sight as well as possible, we extended our line until it surrounded 
three sides of the place, feeling sure that the Southerners would not attempt to 
escape by way of the river front, because of alligators. 



"Working their way through the underbrush, the twenty-five Union men at last 
reached the fence, and I straightened up to look over, to find myself in front of and 
looking into the gun-barrel of a bushwhacker picket. With a quick movement I 
knocked aside the threatening weapon, my comrades arose around the entire enclos 
ure and the Confederate who had confronted me was on the run for the house. 

"Then our twenty-five men, with a yell, dashed over the fence, closed in about 
the house and demanded a surrender as the thoroughly astonished Confederates 
came out to capitulate. One of the bushwhackers had an unfinished letter in his 
hand, the last words written being : Everything is quiet along our lines. 

" The entire picket with its arms, horses and supplies was captured without firing 
a shot, and while doing this, a portion of our little party mounted some of the 
captured horses and rode out two miles, making prisoners of a sergeant and one 
man on vidette duty. By prompt use of the small boats all prisoners were placed 
under guard aboard the tug boat, while the horses were made to swim across the 
swamp and to the other side of the river. In doing this, two men row^ed in each 
boat, two other men held the horses by the head as they were swimming, and a fifth 
man stood in the stern with plenty of loaded guns to keep the alligators from 
attacking them. 

"After reaching the other side we made our way for a mile and a half through 
the swamp, where, as we were afterwards told, no man had ever trodden before. 

"At every house on our return we stopped in search for bushwhackers. Our 
boys on the horses captured a mail carrier with what proved to be valuable letters, 
and we reached Palatka about sunset. 

" While we were swimming the horses across the river, all who could be spared 
from that work were put on guard, and when the animals were over each told the 
other to come in. One of the boys, unfortunately, did not hear the summons, and 
we left him on guard, not knowing until roll call that he was missing. After three 
days and nights he finally got into camp, having subsisted on wild oranges and 
berries, during his wearisome march, and was very much weakened by his exertions. 
He said we had not been away two hours before the Confederate cavalry were as 
thick in that vicinity as hairs on a dog." 




Sergeant, Co. A, 119th Illinois Infantry. 
Born at London, England, 1840. 


T ASKED Sherman for 10,000 of his best men and he 
has sent me 10,000 damned guerrillas." 
This severe criticism was expressed by General N. P. 
Banks, at a review of the troops of General Smith s 
Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, at Alexandria, in 
March, 1864. 

It was brought on by the apparent lack of discipline, 
military drill, straggling manner and unsoldierly con 
duct of the men of this division, and directed especially 
to the One hundred and nineteenth Illinois Infantry, the 
colonel of which did not consider "soldierly show busi- 

a necessary qualification of a brave army. However, the general s opinion 
clung to the division, and ever afterward to the end of the war the One hun 
dred and nineteenth Illinois was designated as "Smith s Guerrillas." If this 
sabre duel was intended as an expression of contempt, the regiment soon found an 
opportunity to prove that it had been misjudged, and that its men were as valiant 
as any in the Union Army. This opportunity presented itself at the fighting at 
Pleasant Hill, La. After that "Smith s Guerrillas" in the Union ranks became a 
title of pride. 

The Federal troops had captured Fort DeRussy, March 14, 1864, and occupied the 
surrounding territory. Nevertheless the situation was precarious because the 
low water, rapid current, frequent eddies and sways of the Red River made the 
handling of supplies a difficult and hazardous task. 

On the morning of April 9, 1864 after fighting all the previous day near Sabine 
Cross-Roads the Confederates found themselves confronted at Pleasant Hill with 
the re-enforcement of Smith s Division, in which was the One hundred and nineteenth 
Illinois posted in the woods on the extreme left. John H. Cook, sergeant of Com 
pany A of that regiment, was on that day detailed as clerk at headquarters, and 
in the following narrates what occurred : 

" The thought of being a noncombatant was distasteful, and so, arming myself with 
a Sharps rifle, I took my place as sergeant in the rear of my company. I was 
without canteen, haversack or blanket, having only a good big plug of tobacco, my 
rifle and forty rounds. 

" The position assigned my regiment was on the extreme left of the line, my 
company being posted in advance as skirmishers in the woods. We lay in this 
position from early in the morning until about three o clock in the afternoon, wit 
nessing from our commanding position the battle on the right and center. We 
were ordered to hold our position at all hazards, as a flank movement of the enemy 
was expected at any moment, which we must stubbornly resist before falling back. 


Our army had a disadvantage as to ground ; the position could be easily turned, 
we could not occupy it long for want of water. About five o clock the Con 
federates, having been heavily re-enforced, made a furious assault on us, hammered 
in our center, doubled up our right, and fell vigorously on our left, which was the 
weakest part of General Emory s position. There was nothing left to stop the 
cyclone now but Smith s Guerrillas, and it seemed that we in the woods were to 
be flanked and the w 7 hole army bagged. A sickening feeling came over me as I 
took in the situation. 

" It was not long after we began to move farther into the galling fire that we could 
see our division in the center of the field advancing in a gallant charge. The rebels 
were coming 
through the 
woods to flank 
us. It looked 
like ten to one 
against us. 
Brave Lieu 
tenant Jack 
Ware took 
command of 
our skirmish 
line, and or 
dered me to 
lead the cen 
ter of the line. 
under a heavy 
musketry fire, 
and rapidly 
firing, I turned 
back to cheer 

on the boys, when I saw John Mclntyre, a brave and sturdy Scotchman (he was the pet 
and pride of Company A) throw up his left hand and fall forward. I ran back to him 
and saw that he had been instantly killed. Then I was mad clear through. I ran for 
ward again, rapidly firing my breech-loader. In a moment a musketry fire was focused 
on me ; the bullets whizzed around me thick. One went through my hat, another 
through my right coat-sleeve, and one so close to my cheek that I could feel it 
burn. But I cared nothing for life or death I was in to stay. It seemed to me 
just then that if our little company did not hold its ground we should be flanked, 
and our army defeated, and that if I did not do my duty, and cheer our boys, they 
might not stand. I had fired my forty rounds my last cartridge was gone. I 



raised my empty breech-loader in my right hand, and, waving my hat in my 
left, ran forward, cheering on the boys. I felt a good deal as General Corse ex- 
expressed himself in his famous dispatch to General Sherman: I am out of pro 
visions, I have lost an ear and part of a cheek-bone, but I can whip all hell yet! 

"Well, our boys rallied. It was a sudden rush. We took a number of prisoners 
and the rebs gave way. Re-enforcements came up, and soon our whole line ad 
vanced, and Company A on the skirmish line shared fully in the victory of Pleasant 


"Pwo hundred Union men killed and wounded 
within a few minutes ! 

This is the record of the engagement at Cane 
River Crossing, La., than which, considering its 
brief duration, there was no fiercer or more 
bloody struggle during the entire war. 

The Confederates were in a strongly fortified 
position ; the Union forces had orders to drive 
them out. The two hostile bodies clashed April 
24, 1864. 

First Lieutenant William S. Beebe, of the 
Ordnance Department of the army, \vas the 
officer whose leadership won brilliant victory for 
the Federals on that memorable occasion. He 
led the One hundred and seventy-third New York 
Volunteers, commanded by Colonel Conrady, and 
so conspicuously distinguished himself that he 
was brevetted a captain and awarded the Medal of Honor. 

The details of the assault are told by Lieutenant Beebe hinself as follows : 

"I was ordered by the Chief of Staff to join the assaulting column, to urge the 
necessity of instant attack, as I knew our rear-guard was then engaged and we 
had to lay a pontoon-bridge to cross Cane River. The division was deployed for 
attack on Monett s Bluff; I stated the necessity of instant assault and offered to 
lead it. The offer was declined, but on its renewal promptly accepted. I was the 
first man on the bluff. The color-guard immediately behind me lost five men out of 
eight, and the killed and wounded in an affair of ten minutes were about two 


First Lieutenant, Ordnance Dt-pt., U. S. A. 

Highest rank attained: Major. 
Born at Ithaca, New York, in 1841. 



A BEAM J. BUCKLES was a sergeant in Company 
** E, Nineteenth Indiana Volunteers, which, with 
the Twenty-fourth Michigan, the Second, Sixth and 
Seventh Wisconsin, formed the Iron Brigade, 
so-called, an organization composed of young farm 
ers, lumbermen and sailors. A sturdier lot of sol 
diers it was impossible to find in the whole Union 
Army. This brigade was engaged in the battle of 
the Wilderness, where it sustained its enviable 
reputation. The Nineteenth Indiana especially 
gave a good account of itself, and one of its mem 
bers, the aforementioned Sergeant Buckles, became 
a Medal of Honor hero on that memorable occasion. 
Though wounded in the shoulder at Gettysburg, he 
remained in active service. As to the fighting at 

the battle of the Wilderness and the incident which links his name to the struggle , 
Sergeant Buckles says : 

"My regiment was on the first line, and, after executing some hurried movements 
on the morning of May 5th, was finally drawn in line of battle on the edge of the 
great wilderness. We were on the first line and were among the first engaged. 
Expecting an attack momentarily, we had thrown up a formidable line of breast 
works, and the exertions thus made had started some loose bones in my shoulder. 
I sat down, stripped my clothes back and with a small pair of pincers I carried I 
pulled the fragments of bone out. Just then we got the order to advance and away 
we went down into the dense woods, and almost immediately striking the enemy s 
line of battle, we struck them hard, Iron Brigade fashion, and drove them back 


Sergeant, Co. E, 19th Indiana Infantry. 
Born in Delaware Co., Ind., Aug. 2, 1846. 

The Wilderness. When Grant assumed supreme command of the Federal Army his objective was 
Eichmond, Va., and the destruction of Lee s army. His forces, consisting of about 122,000 troops and 350 guns, 
were confronted by Lee with a force of 62,000 men, and over 200 guns, at the Wilderness on May 5-7, 1864. 
This battle, which included engagements at Brock Koad, Craig s Meeting House, Furnaces, Parker s Store, 
and Todd s Tavern, was the first of the battles of the march to Richmond. 

On the 5th, Grant had fairly crossed the Rapidan River, and, having met with no opposition, pushed 
on through the wilderness, unconscious of the close proximity of Lee s Army. Lee, however, suspecting 
Grant s movement, gave him battle in the dense forest, where the fight continued throughout the day. 

Early on the morning of the 6th the fight was renewed, the desperate struggle being carried on in 
the now burning woods. At the close of this day s battle the relative strength of the opposing armies 
remained about as at first ; and the only decisive gain was a slight one on the Union side. 

During the night of the 6th Lee s army had withdrawn, and as it showed no disposition to fight 
again on the 7th, Grant gave orders to move toward Spottsylvania Court House. 

The losses sustained during the two days fight were about 15,000 on each side. 


until we reached a cleared place, where our line stopped to reform. Meanwhile the 
Johnnies crossed the clearing and posted themselves in a dense thicket. Up to this 
time I had been unable, because of the bushes and trees, to unfurl my colors, but on 
coining into the clearing I loosened its folds and shook the regiment s flag free to 
the breeze. From their covered position the enemy had begun to pour a withering 
fire into us, comrades were dropping at every hand and delay was fatal, while retreat 
was never dreamed of. The only possible safety lay in a charge, and believing that 
a short, quick rush with such a line as we had, a heavy one, would force the Confed 
erates to fly, I ran to the front. Waving the flag above my head, I called on the 
boys to follow. To a man they responded, and together we dashed toward the 
troublesome thicket. We were going in fine style when I was struck, shot through 
the body. I fell, but managed to keep the flag up until little John Divelbus, one of 
the color-guard and as brave a man as ever lived, took it out of my hands, to be 
killed a few minutes later. I believed I had received my death blow, but I realize 
now that instead I won the Medal of Honor." 


A T the battle of the Wilderness Company I of the 
** Sixty-second New York Infantry, known as the 
Anderson Zouaves, held a position on the left center 
of the regiment next to the color-guard. In the 
absence of a commissioned officer, Sergeant Charles 
E. Morse was in command of the company, which 
consisted of but fifteen men. The regiment was 
ordered to advance and charge the enemy, and 
carried out the order so successfully that the Con 
federates were driven back to their first line of de 
fense. They were given no chance to rally and had 
to retreat to their second line. Then they stopped, 
made a stand, and by desperate fighting prevented 
the regiment s further advance. All efforts to dis 
lodge the rebels were futile ; they were posted too strongly on the ridge. At the 
same time their fire became so destructive that the regiment was ordered to fall 
back to the rifle pits. Though this movement was carried out in perfect order, the 
Confederates concluded that the men were in full retreat and at once started in hot 
pursuit. They failed to bring the lines of the New York regiment into disorder, 
however, and the men continued to fall back, all the time loading, facing about and 
firing. Presently the color-sergeant was struck by a ball. He staggered, reeled 


Sergeant, Co. 1, 62d New York Infantry. 
Born in France, May 5, 1841. 


and dropped, covering the colors with his body. Then someone shouted : " The 
colors are down ! " Consternation followed the outcry. Two men at once broke out 
of the ranks and started toward the spot where the dying color-sergeant lay. The 
rebels, too, were rapidly approaching the coveted spot. Who would be the first to 
reach it, the enemy or the daring New Yorkers ? The latter were Corporal Deitzel 
and Sergeant Morse. Morse was first at the side of his almost lifeless comrade and 
in an instant secured the precious colors. He was soon joined by Deitzel and both 
then retreated to their lines, holding the enemy at a safe distance by keeping up a 
well-directed fire. In the retreat Sergeant Morse was shot in the knee, but notwith 
standing the painful wound he pluckily remained with his company all during the 
subsequent fighting, carrying aloft the banner he had so heroically saved. 



EROISM is a virtue under any circumstance, but to 
l)e heroic in the hour of reverse and disaster is 
the noblest kind of valor. During the battle of the 
Wilderness, May 6, 1864, two Union soldiers furnished 
examples of bravery which belongs to this latter 
category. They are First Sergeant Edmund English, 
of Company C, Second New Jersey Infantry, and 
Sergeant Leopold Karpeles, of Company E, Fifty- 
seventh Massachusetts Infantry. Both accomplished 
the most unexpected and truly extraordinary results 
at the most critical time of the battle, when the dis 
integration of the Union forces had set in, demoral 
ization prevailed and the Federals were fleeing in 
wild disorder. During this mad rush for the rear the 
Second New Jersey, along with other regiments, had 
been ordered to fall back. The command aroused 
Sergeant English s indignation. " Is there nobody to 

make a stand ? " he exclaimed. " This is disgraceful ! " 

He decided to act on his own responsibility, even though it be insubordination. 

Quickly he seized the colors of his regiment, placed himself in front of the men, 

waved the colors high in the air and shouted : "Here, boys ! Stand here ! At least 

a few of us should stem the tide ! " 

His bravery was infectious ; the men caught his spirit and one by one rallied 

around the flag, till at last quite a little band was gathered about the sergeant. 

They did not only " stem the tide," but repulsed and drove the Confederates back in 

wild confusion. 


Sergeant, Co. E, 57th Mass. Infantry. 
Born at Prague, Bohemia, Sept. 9, 1838. 


While this was taking place at one point of the line of 
battle, Sergeant Karpeles similar conduct brought about a 
similar result in another place. He was the color-sergeant 
of his regiment and keenly felt the humiliation of soldiers 
deserting their colors. 

"Our troops were rushing wildly to the rear/ the brave 
sergeant narrates. " In vain did our colonel take a stand 
and call the boys to rally. I joined our colonel, waved 
the flag and likewise called on my comrades to halt and 
form on us. We held our position until we had gathered 
a sufficient force to make a charge. Presently the colonel 
commanded : Forward, and he and I dashed ahead, I 
waving our flag high in the air. Our advance was entirely 
unexpected. It completely dazed the Confederates and brought their advance to an 
end. We held our position till nightfall, when we fell back in good order and reor 
ganized our forces." 


1st Sergeant, Co. C. 2d X. J. Inf. 

Highest rank attained : Captain. 

Born at Cappanhite, Ireland. 

Nov. 10, LSI 1. 


N the first of May, 1864, the Eighty-third Penn 
sylvania Infantry broke camp at Rappahan- 
nock Station, Va., and started on the march. 
Private Jacob E. Swap, a member of this 
regiment, had been placed on the sick list and 
ordered to report at the hospital, but declined 
to do so, whereupon the surgeon allowed him 
to follow the regiment on its march, in an 
ambulance. Upon the third day of his ride, 
while still convalescing, he determined to join 
his company. He secured a gun and a car 
tridge box and started to carry out his inten 
tions, when a lieutenant of his company 
observed him. He immediately took the gun 
from Swap, who was again ordered to the 
rear. This time he remained there until the 
5th, two days later, when he again overtook 
his company, just as they were unslinging their 

knapsacks for a charge in the Wilderness. As he stepped into the ranks, armed and 
ready, his lieutenant asked him where he was going. 
"I m going with the boys," replied Swap. 
"Remain here and guard these knapsacks," the lieutenant ordered. 


Private, Co. H.83d Perm. Infantry. 
Born at Coeymans, Albany Co , N. Y., August 12, 1840. 


Swap, after several fruitless entreaties, reluctantly obeyed, while his comrades 
dashed away on the charge. They soon returned in disorder, and reformed for a 
second charge. 

"I then saw that I had an opportunity to get into the fight," says Private Swap, 
"and I asked a group of my comrades whether there was one among them who 
would let me have his gun. One of them immediately said : Here, take it, I ve 
had enough of this, whereupon I joined in the charge. 

" I was now permitted to stay in the ranks, and fought with the company on the 
6th, 7th, and 8th, in the fights around the Wilderness. 

"On the 8th, while we were charging on the breastworks at Spottsylvania Court 
House, I was wounded five times, when within a few yards of the enemy, after which 
I fired one more shot and then threw my gun over at the enemy. 

"My wounds prevented me from gaining the rear, where I now wanted to be, 
and I was captured and sent to Richmond." 


THE repelling of Longstreet s charge and re 
taking of the Confederate lines and bat 
tery on the second day of the battle of the 
Wilderness were among the most thrilling 
episodes of the entire series of wild fights. 
There had been charges and repulses all 
forenoon and until afternoon, the Federals 
and Confederates moving forward and falling 
back alternately, until, with the ammunition 
entirely exhausted, the cartridge boxes of the 
dead soldiers were the chief resource. 

At last the One hundred and forty-third 
Pennsylvania Infantry of Wadsworth s Division 
were able to halt, stack arms at the intersection 
of the Brock and Plank Roads and prepare their 
meals. Colonel Musser having been killed, Major 
Charles Conyngham was in command. After 

a rest of about an hour an order came from General Hancock directing the brigade, 
in command of Colonel Irwin, to save the works at the Cross-Roads, upon which 
Longstreet s forces were then advancing at a charge. Sergeant Patrick De Lacy, of 
Company A of the aforementioned regiment, in command of the company, instantly 


First Sergeant, Co. A, 143d Perm. Volunteers. 

Highest rank attained : Captain. 
Born in Carbondale, Lackawanna Co., Pa., Nov. 25, 1834. 


led the right of the brigade and regimental line in the advance, his men answering 
with a mighty yell, as they followed. As to what then happened a graphic descrip 
tion by one of the participants is appended: 

"Away we went, double-quick, toward the woods to the left of the Plank Road, 
Longstreet s advance being eighty rods or so still farther to our left coming down 
the Brock Road. On we pushed up toward the burned clearing, under a ter 

rific fire and with our brave comrades falling on / every side. Still De 

Lacy kept the lead until, when right up to the m works, with 

the Con- 


ates in 
line along 
the woods 
and keeping up 
their heavy fire, he made 
a dash to our left of fifteen or eighteen 

rods, right between the fires, to the edge of the works. There he found a rebel 
waving his colors, and, dashing up to him, seized the flag and shot the color-bearer 
down in plain sight of both sides. The colors dropped, and a panic followed among 
the Southerners for a brief period, but long enough for our regiment and brigade to 
reach the works and hold them. The charge had been a grand one all along the 
line, but it was in a very great measure inspired and encouraged by De Lacy s 
daring and heroism while under the concentrated fire of the enemy. His escape 
was a miracle, his achievement one of those incidents in the history of actual war 
fare which causes one to bubble over with admiration for the hero." 



the 9th of May, 1864," 
narrates Sergeant 
Stephen Welch, of Company 
C, One hundred and fifty- 
fourth New York Volunteer 
Infantry, "the enemy was 
found in a strong posi 
tion at a place called Kocky 
Face Ridge, near Dalton, Ga. 
In the afternoon the brigade 


Sergeant, Co. C. 154th New York Vol 
unteer Infantry. 

Born at Groton. Tompkins Co., X. V. 
June 14, 1824. 


Sergeant, Co. C, 154th New York Vol 
unteer Infantry. 
Bom at Mansfield, N. Y., Jan. 25, 1847. 

was got in readiness for in 
spection of said ridge. A 
few of my company were 
detailed to act as skirmish 
ers. We advanced slowly 

and cautiously, covering ourselves as best we could till we got within four rods of a 
perpendicular palisade crowning the top of the ridge. I found protection behind a 
rock, from which point I could occasionally see three or four of the enemy on top of 
the hill, and had a chance to discharge my gun in that direction. Meanwhile the 
brigade came up, our regiment on the right. They all went up to the perpendicular 
palisade of rock, some going up the crevices and to death. After about half an hour 
the bugler sounded a recall, and the brigade went down that hill much faster than 
it had gone up, but soon we got into proper order again. About this time the major 
came along and told me that he had seen a wounded soldier of my company, 
between the lines, adding that I had better get someone to help me go up and get 
him. Taking a tent-mate, Sergeant Charles W. McKay, we started out under a 
heavy fire, not only from the enemy, but also from our own lines. We found 
George Greek, a corporal of the color-guard, badly wounded in both legs. The poor 

Coincident with the beginning of Grant s campaign in the Wilderness began the great campaign best 
known as Sherman s March to the Sea. On the 7th of May, 1864, with a force of 100,000 men, General Sher 
man advanced from Chattanooga, forcing back the Confederate General, Johnston, who had an army of 
60,000 men. Dalton, Itesaea. Dallas, Lost Mountain, the Great and Little Kenesaw Mountains were the 
stands taken by the retreating Confederates, and were engagements in which they were outnumbered, out- 
Hanked and defeated. On the 22d of June, General Hood made an attack on the Union center and was 
repulsed with heavy loss. Five days later, General Sherman attempted to carry the Great Kenesaw 
Mountain, but was repulsed, losing 3,000 men. He then resumed his former tactics, outflanked the enemy 
and compelled him to retreat across the Chattahoochee. By the 10th of July, the whole Confederate army 
had retired within the defenses of Atlanta. 




fellow had been trying to drag himself along with his hands, and had sunk down, 
overcome by faintness and exhaustion. McKay revived him with a drink from 
his canteen, after which the corporal, raising himself on his elbow, asked if the colors 
were safe. We assured him that they were, and he dropped down again, satisfied 
and happy. We rolled him on a blanket, picked him up, and with bullets whizzing 
about us, managed to get him off the field." 




1st Lieutenant, 93d N. Y. Volunteers 
Highest rank attained: Colonel, 

U. 8. Volunteers. 
Born at Argyle, April 16, 1839. 

THE engagement at Corbin s Creek was preliminary to 
the battle of Spottsylvania. Lieutenant Robertson 
gives an account of the very creditable conduct of his 
brigade as well as his own experience on this occasion : 

" By a rapid march early in the morning of May 8, 
1864, the Second Army Corps, to which I was attached as 
aide-de-camp, gained the road which the Fifth Corps had 
just passed. We reached Todd s Tavern, Va., our desti 
nation, at nine, when our Corps was aligned on the Brock 
Road and across the Catherpen, to prevent an expected 
attempt on the part of Lee to cut our marching column 
in two. 

"Soon our brigade was pushed out through the hot pine woods to a valley, 
through which runs Corbin s Creek. Here on a brow of the upland we halted for a 
time and the picket line was posted to guard the approaches in that direction. 
Hardly had it been posted in a road which runs down to the valley, separated from 
us by a stream bordered with a dense growth of bushes and tangled vines, before it 
was thought necessary to extend the line further to our right, to cover another by 
way there. That duty fell to me. 

"The work was done, and I was riding down the road to an opening in the 
bushes where the stream could be crossed, when I found a line of battle moving 
toward me and toward our position. There was no escape except through the gap 
they were rapidly approaching, and no time was to be lost, for if they reached the 
opening before me, my march would end in Richmond as a prisoner of war. 

"They evidently believed I was coming to surrender, for they invited me to join 
them in terms the politest of which were: Come in. you damned Yank, we ll take 

Spottsylvania On the 7th of May, 1864, after the battle of the Wilderness, the Union Army began its 
march toward Spottsylvania, Va. Grant, who, on his way to Richmond, had hoped to pass around Lee s 
right wing, found on the 8th the whole Confederate Army massing about a mile to the north and east of 
Spottsylvania directly in his front. Little was done by either army on this and the next day, except the 
strengthening of works and the posting of troops. On the 10th Grant resolved to attack Lee, and accord 
ingly ordered attacks all along the line, the most notable of which was Upton s storming party. The 
armies rested on the following day, on the evening of which Grant ordered an assault for the next morning. 
After a difficult night march, Hancock pressed on and in a hand-to-hand fight rushed upon the enemy s 
breastworks and captured a whole division of Ewell s Corps. Lee hastened re-enforcements to Ewell and 
at this point, the "Bloody Angle," the battle raged all day and until 3 o clock on the morning of the 13th. 
The Confederates tried vainly to dislodge the Union troops by massing heavily on Lee s broken line, but 
finally took a position in rear of his former one, and there entrenched himself. 

This last twenty-four hours fight closed the eight days battle around Spottsylvania, the Federal 
Army losing 8,000 men and the Confederates about the same number. 


good care of you. But the opening was reached and I showed my horse s tail, 
and his speed as we galloped up the hill. Scattering volleys were fired, but the rebels 
were too excited to aim well, and shot wildly. At the top of the hill was a rail fence. 
The horse leaped it finely, but the saddle girth had become loose, the saddle turned, 
and I fell. To mount again was only the work of a moment, for the dread of a 
rebel prison almost gives one wings. The volleys meant for me had roused the 
brigade, which greeted me with hearty cheers as I rode into the line with my saddle 
under my horse instead of under me. 

" The attacking column appeared, but halted to make proper dispositions for the 
attack, and we were ordered to a better position a little to the rear. Shortly after 
another rebel brigade was discovered moving on our right flank, and we had to pre 
pare for an attack on our right and the one in our front at the same time. Re-en 
forcements were sent for, and we prepared to defend ourselves as best we could 
until they should arrive. 

"The brigades in front moved steadily up the slope, their muskets at a ready. 
Gallant Colonel McKeen, of the Thirty-first Pennsylvania, had charge of that part 
of that line with his own regiment and the Twenty-sixth Michigan. He sat on his 
horse, calmly speaking words of encouragement to his men, many of whom were 
recruits who had never been under fire before. 

" The ki-yi-yi of the Confederates was not answered until their line was close 
upon us. Then a volley answered their triumphant yells, sending many to their 
long home, but they closed their ranks and marched steadily on. McKeen met 
them with another volley, which drove them down the hill. Now commenced hot 
work on the right. Here were the Sixty-first New York and the One hundred and 
fortieth and One hundred and eighty-third Pennsylvania, under General Miles in 
person. The Confederates charged and nearly drove in our center (the One hun 
dred and eighty-third Pennsylvania) which broke and drifted to the rear. The staff 
tried to drive and coax the frightened men. I at once seized the colors from the 
frightened guard and rode with them in the face of the enemy to their former 
place. This checked the panic and inspired the men. The regiment rallied on its 
colors ; the line was saved, and our little brigade was proud, for we had whipped 
two brigades of Mahone s Division before any re-enforcements reached us, and we 
were received with hearty cheers as we filled the trenches. We had lost nearly two 
hundred men, and were obliged to leave our dead upon the field." 




Sergeant, Co. E, Fourth Michigan Infantry. 
Born in Adams Co., 111., in 1842. 

"THE battle of Laurel Hill, as it is termed, was 
in reality a part of the battle of Spottsyl- 
vania, and is so known historically," writes 
Sergeant Moses A. Luce, of Company E, Fourth 
Michigan Infantry. "Laurel Hill was a slight 
elevation situated in front of the right of our 
army, and occupied by the Confederate army 
behind earthworks throw r n up by them 
during the two previous days. Early in 
the morning of May 10, 1864, our regi 
ment, containing at that time about one 
hundred men, and the Twenty-second 
Massachusetts Infantry, were designated 
to lead an assault on the works in front of 
our line. We were supported by the divi 
sion draw r n up in line at a short distance back of us. The morning was foggy. We 
were advanced close to our picket line upon a slight elevation, leaving a small valley 
between us and the enemy. Our muskets were unloaded, bayonets fixed, and we 
thus awaited the order to charge. A light wind suddenly broke the fog in front of 
us, when we were hastily ordered forward without any supports and were imme 
diately observed by the enemy, who opened fire upon us from their picket line and 
also from their artillery. Charging rapidly toward the enemy and receiving a fire 
of canister and grape from their cannon, the greater portion of which, however, 
passed over our heads, we broke through their picket line, and paying no further 
attention to them pushed on to the foot of the main breastworks of the enemy. At 
this point the musketry of the enemy opened upon us with terrible effect. Five out 
of seven of my company, of which I was in command, were struck by this fire, and 
the assaulting column, being unsupported, fell back in disorder. 

"Although not wounded, I fell prostrate into a ditch running down the hillside, 
where I remained possibly a minute listening to the whiz of the balls over my head 
and the cries of the wounded and the yells of the enemy. I was in comparative 
safety in the ditch, but if I remained I would be taken prisoner, and the horrors of 
Andersonville were then pictured in dreadful detail. I concluded to run the risk of 
escaping, and, rising with my musket in my hand, a ball struck the stock, which I 
held, and another ball cut the skin just over my eye. With all the speed I had I ran 
down the hillside and across the valley, under the fire of the enemy, and succeeded 
in reaching the first rifle pit of our pickets and leaped into it. The enemy leaped 
over their works, and with yells started to charge down the slope, but they were met 
by such a heavy fire that they soon retired. The cannonading continued at intervals 


On both sides with the musketry fire in broken volleys. Hearing a cry for help from 
some wounded soldier who lay very close to the picket rifle pits of the enemy, I 
asked who it was. Upon hearing that it was Sergeant La Fleur, I at once responded 
to his call, dropping my musket, however, and running forward toward the spot 
where he lay. When I reached him he was lying prostrate on the ground, with his 
leg broken below the knee by a grapeshot, and was bleeding profusely. He was a 
smaller man than I, and I tried to lift him in my arms, but finding that impossible 
I kneeled down and told him to get his arms about my neck and get on my back, I 
remaining on my hands and knees. Then rising, and in a stooping position, I carried 
him rapidly to the rear of our line. Here I found several men and one or two 
officers, and having stanched the flow of blood I returned to our rifle pits." 


^ Fifty-second Ohio Infantry, won the ad 
miration of his comrades and of his superior 
officers by his conduct during the engagement 
at Buzzard s Roost, Ga., May 11, 1864. He was 
on the skirmish line braving a most galling 
fire. Many a brave Union soldier lost his life 
or was wounded on that occasion. In almost 
every instance it was possible to bring the 
injured to the rear, but at one time during the 
charge one of Sergeant Treat s comrades was 
wounded and left on the field close to the rebel 

The sergeant could not endure the sight of 
one of his men, covered with blood and unable 
to move, being made a target for further shots from the enemy. 

" Boys, let us save our comrade ! " he exclaimed. Immediately two men an 
nounced their willingness to accompany the sergeant. 

Unheedful of the shower of bullets and terrific fire of musketry, they started for 
the rebel works, but had not proceeded far when the two privates were stricken 
down by well directed bullets, leaving Sergeant Treat alone to carry out the mission 
of mercy. Three times this brave soldier was struck by rebel balls, one passing 
through his hat above the right ear, and two going clear through the blouse, each 
bullet inflicting a painful though not serious wound. However he persisted in 
reaching his wounded comrade and succeeded in assisting him safely back to the 
Union lines, Cheers greeted the gallant rescuer and rescued as they returned. 


Sergeant, Co. I, 52d Ohio Infantry. 
Born at Painesville, Lake Co., O., in 1833. 


ON the morning of May 26, 1864, Colonel Thomas C. Devin led the Second Brigade, 
First Division, Cavalry Corps, from Pole Cat Creek to Mangohick Church, Va., 
where a halt was made for several hours. The march was then taken up again and 
the Pamunkey River reached at a point opposite Hanover Town, Va., at daybreak 
the following morning. After crossing the pontoon bridge the Federals went into 
position on the hill to the right and in front of Hanover Town. The Seventeenth 
Pennsylvania thereupon was ordered to the right to support a regiment of the First 
Brigade, which then was advancing upon and skirmishing with the enemy. While a 
squadron of the Ninth New York was ordered to the extreme right to cover the 
flank of the Seventeenth Pennsylvania, as the Confederates showed no disposition 
to engage the Union forces and retired into the woods, Colonel Devin ordered 
part of the squadron of the Ninth New York to charge the retreating rebels. 
Their pickets were driven across the creek and over the opposite hill, where nearly 
a whole brigade of South Carolina Cavalry was attempting to get into position. 

First Lieutenant John T. Rutherford, of Troop L, Ninth New York Cavalry, led 
the charging column. Upon finding that the bridge had been destroyed, he jumped 
his horse into the creek, forded it, followed by his command ; and, attacking the 
rebels, drove them back on their reserve, where they became entangled with their 
train. Taking advantage of the enemy s confusion and disorder, Lieutenant Ruther 
ford demanded the surrender of the whole brigade. This bold demand so stag 
gered the Confederates that they were unable to gather enough energy to resist it, 
and were about to comply, when one of their officers with more courage than 
discretion called on his men not to be cowards and to form into line. 

In a second Lieutenant Rutherford was at the officer s side and with one well-direct 
ed shot, which killed his horse, had him lying on the ground. The officer regained his 
feet, however, and Rutherford then struck at him with his now empty pistol. The 
Confederate s sabre parried the assault, but the next moment Rutherford landed a 
telling blow on his opponent s head and placed him hors de combat. The rebel sur 
rendered and was sent to the rear. 

In explanation of this unique duel it should be stated that while fording the 
creek Lieutenant Rutherford broke his belt and lost his sabre and that, therefore, 
the pistol was his only weapon. 

Two weeks prior to this incident, Lieutenant Rutherford distinguished himself in 
a like manner, when during an engagement between General Merritt s Federal and 
General Stuart s Confederate Cavalry Divisions at Yellow Tavern, Va., he led his 
squadron in a dashing charge on the rebels, completely routing them and capturing 
ninety prisoners. 

For both these brave acts he was awarded the Medal of Honor. 



The capture of their officer dismayed the rebels and they offered no further re 
sistance. Then the small body of Union cavalry found itself in a peculiar position. 
How could they think of successfully bringing to their lines such large numbers of 
prisoners ? 

Not desiring to take chances or run any risk, they picked out some 100 prisoners 
and fell back upon the brigade. 

Colonel Devin smiled as he received the victorious New Yorkers. 

" Did you intend to take the whole brigade ? " he asked Lieutenant Rutherford. 

"I would, if I had enough men to guard them," was the reply. 

"I believe it," the Colonel observed as he shook the brave lieutenant s hand. 



Sergeant, Co. B, 4th N. Y. Infantry. 
Born at Derbyshire, Eng., May 1. 1844. 

x the 12th of May, during the battle of Spott- 
sylvania," says Sergeant John P. Beech of 
Company B, Fourth New Jersey Infantry, "General 
Upton ordered a battery of artillery to take a position 
on his right to sweep the large open field in front of 
the Bloody Angle. Lieutenant Metcalf s Section of 
Battery C, Fifth New Hampshire, immediately ad 
vanced into position, but the enemy s fire was so 
heavy the men and horses fell like leaves in autumn. 
" Both our regiment and the rebels on our left 
were now advancing toward the clearing in front of 
the Angle, the objective point for each being Met 
calf s unlucky section. Upon seeing the critical posi 
tion they were in and that all the men except Lieu 
tenant Metcalf and Sergeant Lines had been killed or wounded, I laid down my 
musket and volunteered to go and help work the gun. I received permission to go, 
and upon reaching it proceeded to serve ammunition. We had but four charges of 
canister left, when a Mississippi regiment came charging down upon us, but we 
worked that gun as fast as it was possible for three men to work it. The rebels came 
to within 100 feet of us, and after giving them our four charges of canister we fol 
lowed that up with spherical case and shell, until our ammunition was exhausted, 
when Lieutenant Metcalf ordered up the limber, but as it was coming forward the 
horses were shot down. A well-directed fire from the infantry behind a crest pre 
vented the Mississippi regiment s farther advance, and for eighteen hours the fight 
continued at this point. In the meantime a body of our regiment finally got the 
piece off the field, leaving the limber there until the next day." 





Captain. Co. K. 124th New York Infantry. 
Born at Middleton, N. \ ., Aug. 11, 1841. 

E who stands ready to sacrifice himself rather 
than endanger the lives of those entrusted to 
his care is a most illustrious hero. The conduct of 
Captain Lewis S. Wisner, of Company K, One hundred 
and Twenty-fourth New York Infantry, engineer 
officer on General J. H. Hobart Ward s staff during 
the battle of Spottsylvania, brings him within that 
type of lofty military heroes. 

About nine o clock in the morning of May 12 he 
received written orders from the division engineer 
officer to lower the breastworks near the "Bloody 
Angle" eighteen inches in front of one of the Union 
batteries, which was engaged in raking the tree-tops 
to dislodge the rebel sharpshooters. 

One side of these works was occupied by the Con 
federate, the other by the Union troops, and so severe was the fire at this portion 
of the line that a large oak tree was completely cut in two by musketry fire alone. 
Captain Wisner proceeded to the breastworks, placed his men in a position of 
safety and reported his orders to the commanding officer of the battery. The latter 
received the captain with scorn. 

"Lower the works ?" he exclaimed. "I ll train my gun upon the man, and blow 
him to Kingdom Come, who dares touch the works." 

Captain Wisner handed him his written orders and retorted : " Here are my 
orders, sir. They will be obeyed, guns or no guns." And he at once proceeded to 
carry out his instructions. 

The top of the works was capped with a heavy log raised a few inches to make a 
loop through which the infantry might fire. Placing two men at each end of the 
log, the captain ordered it to be removed. Having been wired at each end to the 
adjoining logs and also on the side where the Confederates were, the removal of 
the log could not be accomplished. 

Captain Wisner was fully convinced that instant death awaited anyone who 
attempted to remove the obstruction, and refused to expose his men to any such 
danger. " I ll do it myself," he said. Provided with an ax obtained from one of his 
detail, he leaped to the top of the breastworks and, with one well-directed blow, 
severed one end of the log. He ran quickly to the other end and cut the log at that 
point. He escaped unhurt, but his clothes were riddled with bullets in many places. 
Thus the breastworks were lowered, the order obeyed, but someone had blundered ! 
The commander of the battery asked Captain Wisner if he would not replace the 
log in its former position, and the brave captain, impressed with the necessity of the 
request, complied. " You have accomplished the most heroic act I ever witnessed, 
Captain," said the battery commander as he grasped Wisner s hand. 





Private, Co. F, Second Vermont Infantry. 
Born at Montpelier, Vt., 1861. 

of the most dramatic incidents of the battle 
of Spottsylvania is summed up in the follow 
ing words by General L. A. Grant : 

"The struggle at the Angle was emphatically 
a hand-to-hand fight. Scores were shot down within 
a few feet of the death-dealing muskets in the very 
face of the enemy. Some men clubbed their mus 
kets, and in some instances used clubs and rails. 
In this way the brigade was engaged for eight 
hours. The slaughter of the enemy was terrible. 
Behind their traverses and in the pits and holes 
they had dug for protection, the rebel dead were 

found piled up on one another. Some of the wounded were almost entirely buried 
by the dead bodies of their companions that had fallen upon them." 

Private William W. Noyes, of the Second Vermont Infantry, augments the fore 
going description by the following pen-picture of the part he played in this battle : 
"We had reached the Bloody Angle a pile of logs, with a slight embankment 
on the inner side. There the Johnnies were, just over the pile, while we lay in 
the slout in front. Muskets were pushed through the openings between the logs 
and fired right into the faces of our men. Suddenly, right near where I was 
lying, one of the Confederates raised a white rag or handkerchief fastened to the 
end of his musket. Some of our men took it for a flag of truce and one of them 
raised his head over the breastworks, when with a cheer the Johnnies emptied their 
muskets into the poor fellow, killing him instantly. 

"Infuriated beyond control by such treachery and determined upon revenge, I 
called on the men near me to load their pieces as rapidly as possible and hand them 
up to me. Then I jumped to the top of the breastworks and killed the rebel near 
est to me in such short order that the others became, for a moment, completely be 
wildered, and were unable to use their weapons. My comrades handed up their 
guns so rapidly that I was constantly kept busy. The enemy did not seem to regain 
their wits until I had fired five or six shots. They then began shooting at me, 
but for some reason they proved to be poor marksmen, and I continued to fire 
at them until a bullet knocked my hat off, when I jumped back to my former 
position. John Grant, one of my comrades, then mounted the embankment and 
fired a shot, but was immediately killed by a Confederate bullet which pierced his 
heart. Upon counting afterward, we found that fifteen guns had been emptied 
during this brief and peculiar assault." 




Sergeant, Co. G,9th New Hampshire Infantry. 
Born in Lempster, Sullivan Co., N. H. 

|N the night of May 11, 1864, the Army of 
the Potomac was encamped facing the 
entrenched works of the enemy at Spottsylvania, 
and ready for a charge at daybreak. I was de 
tailed on the picket line and took my position on 
the extreme left." 

The foregoing is related by Sergeant William 
H. Wilcox, of Company G, Ninth New Hampshire 
Infantry, who, recalling an interesting incident 
from the battlefield, continues : 

"At daybreak the charge was made, the pick 
ets being instantly converted into a skirmish line 
and sent in advance of the corps to ascertain the 
position of the enemy s picket line. We located 
the Confederates strongly entrenched just across 
a creek in the woods and at once engaged their 
pickets, who, in spite of a stout resistance, were 
soon swept away by the advancing corps. 

" During this conflict Lieutenant Rice, the only commissioned officer with my 
company, my brother and several others were wounded. 

"I stopped long enough to assure myself that my brother was able to walk and 
take care of himself, and so, bidding him good-bye, started with a corporal and a 
private to overtake my company, which I had seen entering the woods. 

" We pressed on through the dense forest, where solid shot and exploding shells 
were screaming over our heads, and cutting twigs, limbs and even great tree-tops, 
which fell in showers about us. Thus marching for about an hour with the roar of 
battle as our only guide, it dawned upon us that we were lost that we were sepa 
rated from our regiment, away from our post of duty during the engagement and 
without leave. Here we were, three able-bodied men idle, helpless, while our com 
rades were fighting a great battle ! 

" Naturally we were anxious to rejoin our regiment and share our comrades fate. 
Presently we came upon the Sixth New Hampshire, which was brigaded with us. 
I asked and received permission to fight with that regiment and we three were 
determined to do our duty that day promptly and well. 

"At night, when I asked the commanding officer to direct us to our regiment, he 
not only complied, but added that, if we needed assistance in accounting for our 
selves, he would gladly help us out. He subsequently paid us a high compliment 
through the commander of our regiment." 




Private, Co. II. 15 2d N. Y. Vol. 

Born at Hampton, Windom Co., 

Conn., March 15, 1845. 

N the night of the llth of May," says Private John 
H. Weeks, "we were relieved by the Fifth Corps 
on Laurel Ridge, where we had been lying in line of 
battle with the Pennsylvania Bucktails of the Fifth 
Corps massed in our rear, expecting to charge the 
enemy s works, which were in a strong position on a 
parallel ridge. But the woods caught fire between our 
line and the enemy s position, and thus caused a post 
ponement of the charge. 

" The fire had lighted up our skirmish line so brightly 
that we had lost six or seven men in my company by 
the enemy s sharpshooters. We lay in this position 
until about 9 o clock P. M., when we were relieved by 
some of the Fifth Corps, with orders to move to the 
rear as silently as possible; not to allow our cups or bay 
onets to rattle or make a-ny unnecessary noise. We marched all night through the 
mud and rain, and I don t think I ever saw it any darker. 

"About break of day on the morning of the 12th, we were halted in line of battle 
with the orders: In place, rest. The report had been in circulation during the 
night that we w r ere going to relieve the Sixth Corps on the reserve, that we might 
have a chance to rest, as we had been under fire almost constantly since we crossed 
the Rapidan, six days before. We were nearly worn out for want of sleep and food. 
When we halted we could see the lights of camp-fires shining through the fog in our 
front, w 7 hich I supposed belonged to the Sixth Corps. 

"As soon as we were ordered to rest, I threw myself down into the mud and fell 
asleep. In a few minutes I was awakened by the arrival of an aide with an order 
for General Hancock, who happened to be near our regiment. I heard him give the 
order, as near as I can remember, as follows : General Meade sends his compli 
ments, and directs that you move your Corps forward and occupy those wwks. 

"We were called to attention and ordered forward, and were in the second line 
of battle following close behind the first. Soon the rebel skirmishers commenced 
firing and then for the first time I began to realize that we had work before us. It 
was now getting quite light, but the fog prevented us from seeing far in advance. 
We soon came to an open field with a gradual ascent, on the top of which the heavy 
timber .had been felled. The boughs were sharpened and wires were stretched 
through the tree-tops. Beyond this obstruction were the enemy s works, which con 
sisted of a ditch eight feet wide and nearly as deep, with a row of long poles set into 
the ground in front, their sharpened points about breast-high. Immediately in rear 


of the ditch were the breastworks, which were formed of earth thrown up against a 
facing of logs, thus making the distance from the bottom of the ditch to the top of 
the works from twelve to fourteen feet, without the chance of a foothold. 

"As soon as we came near to the top of the hill, the enemy opened upon us with 
canister and musketry. Their artillery had been massed at this point with about 
thirty guns, all double-shotted with canister. It did not seem that a line of men 
could possibly reach those works and pass those obstructions alive. By the time we 
reached the ditch there was no line of battle, but a rushing mass of yelling Yankees. 
We succeeded in wrenching the sharpened poles from their places, and used them 
in crossing the ditch and scaling the works. The point of the rebel works upon 
which the charge was made was an angle in the shape of the letter V, projecting 
out of their line. Our left struck the right wing of the angle, so that when we got 
inside of the works we could see the rebels on the left wing opposing our men there, 
and, as we advanced, it brought us in the enemy s rear. 

"When we had sent our prisoners to the rear, we still advanced, but very slowly, 
on account of our broken ranks. About this time I saw the enemy give way on the 
left wing, and among the rest was a color-guard surrounding its flag. These men 
fired their muskets at us in a volley and broke for their rear. They had to pass 
down our front to get out of the angle. I had discharged my gun, but, making up 
my mind to have those colors, I ran up to the sergeant and snatched the flag from 
him, threw it on the ground and put my foot on it. I cocked my empty gun and 
told them that the first man that moved out of his tracks would be shot, and ordered 
them to throw down their guns and surrender. The sergeant said to them : Boys, 
they have our colors ; let us go with them. They threw down their guns and 
marched to the rear as my prisoners. I recrossed the works and started for our 
rear, where I met General Hancock and his staff going to the front. When I saluted 
him, he asked : What colors are those you have there ? I told him. Are these 
your prisoners ? the general asked, glancing at the Confederates. I said they were. 
The general looked at one of his staff, smiling a little incredulously, for there were 
five or six lusty rebels, while I was only a lad about eighteen years old. Then he 
said : Deliver your prisoners to the provost marshal ; write your name, company 
and regiment with the date of the action, on a slip of paper, pin it on your colors 
and turn them in to the adjutant of your regiment. " 

A few months later Private Weeks received his Medal of Honor. 




Sergeant, Co. A, 37th Massachusetts Volunteers. 
Born in Jewett City, Conn., Oct. 3, 1833. 

^ A, Thirty-seventh Massachusetts Vol 
unteers, relates two brave adventures, as 
follows : 

"At the Bloody Angle, Spottsylvania, 
May 12th, our corps, the Sixth, supported 
the Second in the famous charge against 
Johnson s Division of the Confederate Army. 
During the thickest of the fight, Lieutenant 
Wellman was badly wounded, and I was 
ordered to take him to the rear. It was 
about a mile to the hospital, and the shot 
and shell came so thick and fast that it was 

extremely hazardous to venture across with a wounded comrade, but I succeeded in 
carrying out the order, and after placing the lieutenant in the hospital, I came 
safely back through the fire. Upon reaching my company, Lieutenant Sparks con 
gratulated me, saying : Tracy, I hope you will not have to cross that field on a like 
errand again. Scarcely had he finished speaking, when a ball pierced his left breast 
and he fell into my arms. We thought he was mortally wounded, but discovering 
signs of life in him, decided to take him to the hospital, without waiting for 

"At one o clock on the morning of April 2, 1864," continues Sergeant Tracy, "my 
regiment broke camp near Petersburg, Va., and moved up to the enemy s front. 
Brigade pioneers and sharpshooters were ordered to rush in advance of the brigade. 
The pioneers were to remove all obstacles in front of the enemy s works, while the 
sharpshooters covered the parapet. I was at that time detailed as sergeant of the 
Third Brigade pioneers, and was second in command in the assault. The part of 
the line we were expected to carry was made of enclosed works, connected by 
breastworks of great strength with outer obstructions in the form of two lines of 
chevaux de frise and two lines of abatis. It was impossible to take the works while 
the enemy defended them, unless the several lines of obstruction were first removed. 
"As Lieutenant Shiver was wounded early in the attack the command fell on 
me, and in directing the removal of the first two lines of the obstructions I received 
a shot over my ear and one in my left side ; and while removing the third line, a 
bullet shattered my right knee-joint, costing me, subsequently, the loss of my leg. 
Supporting myself on the abatis, I gave my orders to my men, and at last had the 
satisfaction of seeing them carry away the obstruction, thus enabling General Ed 
wards to rout the enemy and cut the railroad and telegraph. The flag of the 
Thirty-seventh Massachusetts was the first to wave over the enemy s works." 

Painted by E. Packbauer. 

Copyrighted 1901. 




""THE battle of Resaca, Ga., May 13 to 16, 
1864, occurred during Sherman s cam 
paign in Georgia when General Sherman 
had been confronted by General Johnston 
at Dalton, and had forced him to fall back 
upon Resaca. 

During the engagement of the 15th an 
act of most conspicuous gallantry was per 
formed by Major H. Edwin Tremain. This 
officer had not been assigned to duty in Sherman s 
army, but w^as attached to the personal staff of 
Major-General Sickles, who was visiting the 
command under confidential orders from the 
President. With his chief s permission, the major 
volunteered for staff duty under General Butterfield, and 
rendered important service in command of a brigade. 

By an unfortunate accident or misunderstanding during 
the battle, the brigade led by General Harrison was fired 
upon by that of General Coburn, and was threatened with 
the utter confusion and disaster which are the usual and 
natural result of such a blunder. Major Tremain rode 
between the lines in front of Coburn s command, knock 
ing down the muskets of the front rank with his sword and hands ; he stopped the 
firing, saved the brigade from destruction, and the assault from failure. 

After the battle and as Major Tremain was about to leave, General Butterfield 
gave expression to his appreciation of the major s services in the following letter : 
"As you are about to leave us this morning to resume your tour with General Sickles, 
with a feeling of sincere regret at losing your valuable services, it is a great pleasure 
to thank you for them. Your devotion and energy in camp and on the march, your 
gallantry at our assault of the enemy s works at Resaca, Ga., and your genial qualities 
have endeared you to us all." 



Major and A. D. C.. U. A. Vols. 

Highest rank attained: Bvt. 

Born in Xew York City. 

Resaca, (*a., was one of the stands taken by the Confederates, under Johnston, who were retreating 
southward before Sherman s Army on its march to the sea. The battle at this place, May 13-16, 1864, was 
fiercely contested. 

On the 13th Sherman deployed his line of battle against the town, and on the 14th he closed in, envelop 
ing it. Skirmishing occurred all day, until late in the afternoon, when Schofleld s Corps was heavily 
engaged and driven back some little distance. By a sharp movement, Sherman captured the town of 
Calhoun, Johnston s base and reserves, six miles below Eesaca. 

Heavy fighting continued on the 15th, in which McPherson s and Hooker s Corps were actively 
engaged. Meanwhile Johnston arranged to make a strong attack on the Federal left ; but finding too strong 
opposition, he abandoned the idea and left Resaca with his army on the night of the 15th. 

The losses in killed and wounded were about 3,000 on each side. 




Drummer, Co. C. 40th Massachusetts Infantry. 
Born at Bradford, England, Feb. 1, 1841. 

"\ A /"HEN the order, "Every man for himself !" 
" is given and organized action has ceased, 
then has come the critical time for the soldier 
on the battlefield. Deprived of the directing 
hand of his superior officer the soldier finds 
himself thrown upon his own wit and resources 
to extricate himself from a generally desperate 
situation. An incident like that occurred dur 
ing the engagement at Drewry s Bluff, Va., 
May 16, 1864. 

Early in the morning the Union forces had 
carried the bluff, captured the enemy s camp 
and driven the Confederates into the woods. 
The Federal brigade then formed line in an 
open clearing extending from the top of the 
bluff to the Centralia Road, a distance of about 
500 yards. 

The Confederates had planted a battery to the left of the Union line, and at this 
point were able to greatly annoy their opponents. It became imperative to silence 
this rebel battery, and three companies of the Fortieth Massachusetts Infantry were 
sent under command of Major Jenkins to the Centralia Road to accomplish this 
task. Subsequently the three companies took up a position opposite the battery on 
this road, and from behind a hastily constructed breastwork of rails poured such 
effective fire into the rebels they could neither load nor discharge their pieces. Pres 
ently the Confederates changed their tactics and made a charge, and also sent a 
large body of troops to flank the small force behind the breastwork. The firing 
now became murderous. Soon the brave Massachusetts men found themselves short 
of ammunition and had to rifle the cartridge boxes of their dead and wounded com 
rades to obtain the necessary supply. The rebels charged the breastwork and en 
gaged in a hand-to-hand fight with those on the other side. By that time the flank 
ing rebels were approaching and the situation grew more desperate every minute, 
especially since the Union men s ammunition was now about completely exhausted. 
Realizing that further resistance would be folly, Major Jenkins gave the order : 
"Every man for himself !" Then confusion reigned supreme. 

A description of what followed is now given in the words of Drummer William 
Lord, of Company C, who earned his medal on that occasion : 

" It looked as if not one of us would be able to get away," he says. "Presently 
Sergeant Weaver ran up to me, grabbed me by the shoulder and exclaimed : Bill, 
come on or we will be captured or killed ! 


"We went. Over the fence and into the woods we ran toward our brigade, 
stumbling over the bodies of our wounded and dead comrades. There were the 
bodies of Privates Russel and Reed, friends of ours. Only the night before Reed told 
me that he felt as if he would be killed soon. If I am, Bill, said he, go through my 
pockets and send the few belongings I have to my family. There he was, poor fellow 
dead ! I stopped long enough to carry out his request. I went through his pockets 
and took charge of everything he carried. Weaver performed the same act for 
Russell. A short distance farther on we ran across Rankin, a private in my own 


company, who was lying on the ground with an ugly wound in the jaw. A rebel 
had first shot and then tried to bayonet him. Though wounded, the brave fellow 
parried the thrust and with one blow with the butt of his rifle smashed the skull of 
the rebel and killed him on the spot. We took Rankin along with us. When we 
reached the place where we hoped to find our brigade, we discovered that it had 
been forced to retreat and that now we were between two lines of battle under 
heavy fire. We paused a second or so to decide what course to pursue, when I 
heard loud and agonizing cries for help. Looking about me I saw Colonel Eldridge 
G. Floyd, of the Third New York, shot through both legs, utterly unable to move. 


The colonel complained bitterly that his men should leave and desert him in that 
predicament. I lifted him on my back and carried him to the field hospital about 
half a mile away. This place soon got within range of the rebel rifles and caught 
fire. I quickly got a stretcher and with the help of Private Patrick Leriahan, of my 
company, carried the colonel out of the blazing building over field and fences to the 
Richmond and Petersburg Pike, where we halted. Here we had to do some of our 
hardest fighting not against the rebels but with a disorganized mob of our own 
men, who, in their mad haste to retreat before the advancing enemy, came near 
tramping the wounded colonel to death. After many a hard struggle and more 
than one narrow escape, we finally were successful in carrying off our wounded 
officer, landing him safely at the hospital some miles in the rear." 


WHILE part of Sheridan s cavalry was being thrown 
across the Greenbriar River, Va., May 22, 1864, 
Colonel Henry Capehart, of the First West Virginia 
Cavalry, performed a most daring rescue. 

The enemy s sharpshooters were menacing the 
passage of the army, and, with a view to dislodging 
these sharpshooters, the command forded the river 
just above the falls. 

Being an expert rider, and having a mount well- 
known in the army for its swimming qualities, Col 
onel Capehart, whenever a fording was to be made, 
invariably took up a station some hundred yards 
below the proposed crossing, his experience being 
that on such occasions both men and horses frequently 
lost their heads, thus causing the loss of life, and on 
more than one occasion his foresight in taking up 
this position enabled him to help many an unlucky 

A few moments after a platoon of Troop B had 
entered the water, one of the men, Private Watson 

Karr, was swept out of his saddle and down the swift stream. What followed is 
told by Colonel Capehart : 

"When I started, I did not know that the falls were so near, until I saw Karr 
disappear over them. Being in the swift current, in the midst of a swollen river, I 


Colonel. 1st West Virginia Cavalry. 
Highest rank attained: Brigadier-Gen 
eral, U.S. V. 
Born at Cambria, Pa., Mar. 18, 1825. 



had only to clutch my mare by the mane with the left hand and the pommel of the 
saddle with my right, when we also took the plunge and oh, such a dive ! I thought 
I should never reach the surface again ; when I did I had only time for a breath or 
two before the second plunge. Either this was not so great a fall as the first or I 
was becoming accustomed to deep diving ; at any rate I did not mind it so much as 
the first. 

"When I came up the second time I found I was close to Karr and also that 
Minie balls were uncomfortably numerous. I reached out and grasped him, drew 
him across my mare s neck, and turned her head towards the south shore. The 
north bank was quite near to us, but so rocky and precipitous, with a heavy current 
fretting against us, that I had no alternative but to swim my mare to the south side. 
Fortunately, I struck a bar and drew my man along until we stood upon firm ground, 
where we were a little under cover from the enemy s fire and could take a much 
needed rest. After vomiting a great quantity of water Karr regained consciousness. 
When I asked him some questions, however, he was not able to reply and could not 
speak. After a few minutes I remarked : Watty, you have lost your hat. He 
slapped his hands down upon his trousers. Yes, he said, and my pocketbook, too. 
He had recovered his power of speech." 


DURING the hotly contested battle of Drewry s 
Bluff, when the Union troops were compelled 
to fall back, a small squad of Federal soldiers - 
fifteen in all were left on the field. They were 
members of Company C, of the Twenty-first Con 
necticut Infantry, under command of Lieutenant 
Button, who, having no orders to fall back, had no 
choice but to brave the situation. Rapidly, how 
ever, their position became more and more unten 
able ; the enemy was fast closing in on the little 
band ; already several of them had fallen under 
the increasing murderous fire from the Confeder 
ates. Lieutenant Button finally was forced to 
order a retreat, but had no sooner uttered the words, * 

than, struck by a bullet, he sank to the ground. Sergeant Robert A. Gray was 
five rods away from him when he noticed the Lieutenant s absence, and, looking back, 
saw that the officer was disabled and sure to fall into the hands of the enemy, who 
were no more than twenty rods away from him. With a few leaps he was by his side 
and found him shot through the leg. He helped him up and managed to retreat 
with him. The brave sergeant assisted the wounded lieutenant to a place of com 
parative safety and then hurried back to his regiment. 


Sergeant, Company C, 21st Conn. Infantry. 
Born at Philadelphia, Pa., September 21, 1831. 




Lieutenant, Co. B, 34th U. S. Colored Troops. 

Highest rank attained : Captain. 
Born at West Hill, N. Y., Oct. 4, 1842. 

/"^OLONEL JAMES MONTGOMERY, commanding the 
^^ Thirty-fourth U. S. Colored Troops, was on 
May 24, 1864, ordered to join an expedition under 
General Hatch to make a demonstration at Ashe- 
poo River, S. C., and to burn the railroad trestle 
across the marsh at that point. The troop steamer 
Boston, detailed to carry and land the regiment 
at Mosquito Inlet, was of too deep draft for the 
steamboat wharf and so the troops were ferried 
to her in small boats. " When about two-thirds of 
our regiment were aboard the steamer," writes Lieu 
tenant George W. Brush, " orders were given to get 
under way. I fastened my small boat to the stern 
of the vessel and soon we were steaming up stream. 
Mine was the only small boat taken along, the 
balance of the regiment and all the other small 
boats being left behind in the hurry to get away. 

" In the fog and darkness of the night the pilot of the Boston carried us about 
five miles beyond Mosquito Inlet, and the first thing we knew we were hard aground 
on an oyster bed and at high tide. 

" Soon the commander of a small Union gunboat, which we had passed about a 
mile below r , hailed us, and suggested to our colonel that twenty-five well-armed men 
be sent over to his boat, where they could do good work as sharpshooters to prevent 
the Confederates from planting a battery and shelling us from opposite the point 
where we were stranded. He also promised assistance by bringing into action his 
heavy guns. 

" The suggestion met with the approval of Colonel Montgomery and I was detailed 
with twenty-five men from the Fourth Massachusetts Cavalry to board the gunboat. 
In addition, we were joined by four volunteers, cavalry regulars, armed with Spencer 
carbines. Hardly had we proceeded half way to the gunboat, when the Confederates 
opened on the stranded Boston. The commander of the gunboat then suddenly 
changed his mind, and said that he did not wish to take undue risks. As the last 
one of my men clambered aboard his boat, I stood up in the small craft and called 
for volunteers to return with me to rescue our 400 companions on the grounded 
transport. Four cavalrymen at once answered my appeal and jumped into the small 
boat with me, each taking a pair of oars, They were William Downey, John Duffy, 
David L. Gifford and Patrick Scanlan, all privates of Troop B, Fourth Massachusetts 
Cavalry, all soldiers, brave and noble. 


" While pulling toward the Boston, we could see some of the frightened soldiers 
jumping overboard to swim ashore. As we came alongside the transport, the colonel 


said to me : Lieutenant, everything now depends on you. Yours is the only boat 
we have. I thought at first that my boat would be swamped, but the men behaved 
well as soon as they realized that there was no need of hurry. Then we began the 


work of ferrying our comrades from the steamer to the south side of the river, taking 
about thirty men to a load. Meanwhile the enemy continued their firing, with our 
boat as their chief target. Now and then a shot would kill a man and several times 
we came near foundering ; but at last we got them all safely ashore. Before we left 
the Boston and the large quantity of stores which she carried, besides about eighty 
horses, we set fire to the craft and saw her burn to the water s edge." 

Lieutenant Brush and Privates Downey, Duffy, Clifford and Scanlan all received 
the Medal of Honor. 


PROM May 4 to June 4, 1864, the Army of the 
Potomac had been fighting desperately from 
the Rapidan to the Chickahominy, General Lee 
moving on defensive, parallel lines, falling back 
from one stronghold to another. Assault after 
assault upon the field-works of the enemy, by di 
visions and army corps, marked the line of the Fed 
eral advance, while storming columns of picket 
troops dashed themselves against the breastworks 
of the Confederate Army. 

By a series of strategic movements, always in 
the face of the enemy, the army had moved from 
the North Anna to a position south of the Pamun- 
key River, confronting General Lee, with his army 
strongly entrenched on the Chickahominy, behind 
the outer defenses of Richmond. The field of oper 
ations during the last days of May and the first 

days of June covered an area of country diversified by open plains, running streams, 
deep ravines, morass and wooded ridges. After crossing the Pamunkey at Hanover 
Town, about twenty miles northeast from Richmond, the line of battle was formed 
with the Sixth Corps on the right, the Second Corps in the center and the Fifth 
Corps on the left, with Sheridan s cavalry as vanguard and rear-guard. The Ninth 
Corps was left on the north side of the Pamunkey, to guard the wagon-trains. 

A successful assault upon the enemy s cavalry, at Hawe s Shop Cross-Roads, on 
May 28th, a few miles in front of Hanover Town, by the cavalry divisions of Gregg 
and Custer, was followed by a reconnoissance in force on the following day, to 
develop the position of General Lee. The right of the lines was pushed to Hanover 
Court House, the center towards Totopotomy Creek, and the left was advanced three 
miles forward on the Shady Grove Road. On May 31st, the Confederate cavalry and 


Captain, Co. K, Kith Michigan Infantry. 
Highest rank attained : Bvt. Col., r. S. V. 


infantry at Cold Harbor were driven from their entrenchments by Sheridan s cavalry 
and the position held until re-enforced by the arrival of the Sixth Corps, which at 
midnight was moved from its position on the right six miles southeast from Hanover 
Court House, to the extreme left of the line, near Cold Harbor. 

This apparent concentration of forces at Cold Harbor was detected by General 
Lee at daylight and General R. H. Anderson s Corps was moved from the left to the 
right of the Confederate line. As Anderson s troops, in the gray light of the dawn, 
were seen passing in front of the Fifth Corps, on the Federal center, General War 
ren was ordered to attack the marching columns in flank. The skirmish line of 
Bartlett s Third Brigade, under Captain Edward Hill, Sixteenth Michigan, which 
had been on picket duty through the night, occupying an advanced position on the 
left of the Fifth Corps, nearest the enemy, charged swiftly and steadily through the 
intervening timber and underbrush, up the slope to the enemy s works. As the line 
reached and carried the rifle pits, a destructive fire of artillery and musketry opened 
on front and flank, but the line pressed unfalteringly on, driving the enemy over 
their line of entrenchments. 

This spirited reconnoissance of the skirmish line having developed the presence 
of the enemy in force behind his works, the attack was not pressed, but the regi 
ments of the brigade that had advanced in close support of the skirmish line held 
throughout the day, against the repeated assaults of the enemy, the ground so gal 
lantly captured by Captain Hill s line, which was composed of gallant men detailed 
from each regiment of the brigade. During this charge Captain Hill was severely 
wounded, but he remained with his men until they fell back in the evening. 


"Two HUNDRED and seventy Union soldiers charged a Confederate force of 15,000 
men ! It was at the battle of Cold Harbor, Va., June 3, 1864 Thirteen thou 
sand brave Union lives were sacrificed on that bloody battlefield. 

No fiercer struggle was there during the entire war, no more heroic deed than 
that desperate charge. 

To give an idea of the battle a description from the pen of a Confederate officer 
is submitted in the following. It is the enemy who says : 

"It was daylight. I had just finished a cup of coffee and was lighting my pipe 
when someone shouted : Look ! Look at our pickets ! 

" Our picket line was running toward us in wild confusion. I was completely 
taken by surprise. Not a gun had been fired ; no enemy was in sight. A few 
seconds later I realized what was going on. The Federals were approaching. In 
five lines of battle they emerged from the woods at double-quick. Then the battle 
began. The Georgia and Alabama brigades opened with musketry and artillery. 


The Federal first line wavered back upon 
the second and both pressed back the third 
line. Finally all five lines were in disorder. 
The Union men retreated to the woods. A 
second time they advanced. They had no 
caps on their guns and were unable to fire 
a single shot. On the other hand our 
artillery fired double-shotted canister from 
two rifled guns at a distance of a hundred 
yards and was decimating the Federals as 
they advanced at an awful rate, mowing 
them down by the dozens. At every dis 
charge of our guns, heads, arms, legs, guns 
were seen flying high in the air. But we 
were opposing a determined and gallant 
foe. They closed the gaps in their lines as 
fast as we made them, and on they came, 
their lines swaying like great waves of the 
sea. Thus one upheaval from the rear 
would follow another and hurry nearer and 

nearer to the murderous fire from our works. So terrible was the slaughter of the 
brave Union cohorts that at some points their dead and wounded were piled upon 
each other five or six feet high their blood literally drenched the field. For fully 
an hour and a half the Federals charged again and again only to meet the same 
fate. Never before did I see such invincible resolution. Finally the Federals passed 
out of sight and we prepared for the next assault. 

" Twenty minutes later it was reported that the battle was to be renewed. Look 
ing out over the works I saw what I believed to be one regiment with a single flag 
and a single officer with drawn sword in the lead calling on his men to follow him. 

" It was the Twenty-fifth Massachusetts the only regiment which obeyed the 
order to return to that bloody field. And, as I subsequently learned, there were 
but two hundred and seventy men in that regiment at that. Not since the famous 
charge of the six hundred at Balaklava has a more heroic act been performed. 


Corporal, Co. F, 25th Massachusetts Infantry. 
Born at Fitchburg, Mass., July 30, 1844. 

Cold Harbor, Va. After the battle of Spottsylvania, General Grant placed his army across 
the Pamunkey River and moved to Hanover Town. On the first day of June, 1864, he began the battle of 
Cold Harbor, Va., a contest which he afterward acknowledged to be a mistake. 

Lee s forces were strongly posted at Cold Harbor and the Federals were repulsed. On the 3d, Grant 
renewed the attack and was again repulsed, losing nearly 13,000 men. In all of the engagements at and 
around this point from June 1st to the 12th, the Union forces suffered a loss of over 14,000 men, while the 
Confederate loss was about 1,700. 

Thereupon Grant quickly changed his base to the James River with a view to the capture of Peters 
burg and the conquest of Richmond from the southeast. 


"With this eulogy of the glorious conduct of the regiment from the Old Bay 
State in mind, the writer is now acquainted with an incident which occurred during 
the battle and centers around a member of the same regimental organization. 

"It was after the bloody repulse of one of the attacks. The brigade had fallen 
back to a line of earthworks about one hundred yards from the enemy s position. 

Presently a 
bullet whiz 
zed through the 
air and struck 
Lieutenant Daly, 
of the Twenty-fifth 
Massachusetts, squarely in 
the breast. He fell, mortally wounded, 
to the ground about fifteen yards in 
front of the Union lines. Half way 
between the lines was a rifle pit, where Corporal Orlando P. Boss and Privates 
Aldrich and Battles had taken up a position. 

" The former saw the lieutenant fall and heard his piteous cries for water. Un 
mindful of the terrific hail of bullets, Corporal Boss crawled out of his hole and 
approached the wounded officer near enough to be able to throw him his well-filled 
canteen. Returning to the pit he found that Aldrich had been wounded during his 



brief absence. To remain longer in the entrenchment was almost inevitable death ; 
the plucky corporal therefore resolved to attempt to get over the breastworks. 

" Don t leave us here, if you go/ the wounded soldier moaned. It had never 
entered Boss mind to desert his comrade in the hour of peril. Yet the poor fellow 
was so weak from loss of blood that he could not have walked a dozen paces 

"Boss quietly took his wounded comrade upon his back and with his heavy 
and precious burden staggered through the shower of bullets in front of three Con 
federate lines of battle toward the breastworks. Miraculous as it may seem, Boss 
accomplished his noble task and carried the wounded soldier off the field in safety. 
Boss now determined upon the rescue of another life that of the wounded officer. 
The permission to carry out the attempt was readily granted by General Stannard 
and several men of the regiment volunteered to assist. It was impossible to bring 
the dying officer over the breastworks with any assurance of success, and it was 
therefore decided to first carry Lieutenant Daly to the rifle pit and thence to the 
Union lines through a tunnel dug through the works. Accordingly, four men were 
at once sent to work to do the digging, while Boss and Private William D. Blanchard 
started on their extremely hazardous mission of mercy. They crawled over the 
works and in the face of a murderous fire made a rush and a dash for the rifle pit. 
From here they dug a trench to the place where the officer lay, a distance, as stated 
before, of about fifteen yards. Having no other tools at their disposal they used 
their spoons and worked for four long and weary hours before they had their arduous 
task completed. The rebels could not fail to divine the object of their work and 
hurled countless shots and missiles at heroic Boss and his no less heroic companion. 
But a kind providence guarded their lives and crowned their efforts with success. 
The lieutenant was safely reached and carried back to the rifle pit on a rubber 
blanket. They then again called their spoons into service and excavated till they 
met those who were tunneling from the inside of the works. In this manner Lieu 
tenant Daly was brought to the Union lines. The heroic deed was performed, but 
the officer for whom Boss and Blanchard had braved death succumbed to his 
injuries shortly afterward." 



I CANNOT order any man to such service. Is there any 


Sergeant, Battery G,8th New York H. A. 
Born at Owego, N. Y., Aug. 1M, isu. 

one in your company who will volunteer to make 
the search ? " asked Lieutenant-Colonel Bates. 

It had been a terrible day at Cold Harbor on the 2d 
of June, 1864, and to none more so than to the Eighth 
New York Heavy Artillery. Across a perfectly open 
field they charged through grape and canister, Colonel 
Porter leading on foot. In thirty minutes over 500 men 
were lost. In a final effort Colonel Porter fell almost 
under the enemy s guns. The attack was repulsed. 

It was in discussing how to find and rescue the body 
of the gallant colonel that Lieutenant-Colonel Bates 

called for a volunteer to make the search. Sergeant LeRoy Williams, of Battery G, 
Eighth New York Heavy Artillery, stepped forward. 

The orders were: "Go to the outposts, sweep the enemy s front with a field- 
glass, -and locate Colonel Porter s body if possible." 

Easily ordered. It was a perfectly clear day, the field open, and sharpshooters 
on all sides. However, fortune favored the scout. Though shot at fifteen or twenty 
times, he completed his errand without a scratch. 

Meanwhile volunteers were called for to rescue the body. When Williams re 
turned and reported, Colonel Bates asked him: "Would you just as soon pilot a 
detail to the body ? " 


" How many men will you need ? " 

"The smallest number possible ; four are sufficient." 

"Well, Sergeant, there is your detail ; take a stretcher and bring in the body of 
Colonel Porter at all hazards." 

" I took the first four men from the right of the detail," says Sergeant Williams, 
" much to the disappointment of the rest of the volunteers. They were Galen S. 
Hicks, John Duff, Walter Harwood and Samuel Traviss. 

"In passing the extreme outpost in the night, a corporal reported an officer s 
body directly in front, but very close to the enemy s line. 

" Why, it s worth a man s life to go out there, he exclaimed. 

" That is the body of our colonel and we must get it, was our answer. Keep 
watch for us as best you can, and if the ball does open, give us a little chance to get 

" Falling flat on my stomach, I worked my way to the body. We were right ; it 
was the body of the colonel. Traviss soon followed. Unable to move the body 


without attracting attention, I sent him back for a rope, while I remained with the 
body to prevent its being rifled. During the hour or more I lay there I saw an 
officer of the enemy taking observations. He was so close I could hear the rattle of 
his side arms at every move. Finally the rope came. Traviss fastened it to the 
feet of the body, and creeping away stealthily, we gradually drew the body to the 
vidette post." 


(te^fp ^^ A FTEE the three days fight at Cold Harbor, Com- 

"~~~~ -^">^S*^^ "* / V _ A . _ J TT _ l 1 1 _ r\ 1 J J , .- 3 -. 

panics A and H of the One hundred and forty- 


Sergeant, Co. H, 148th N. Y. Vol. Infantry. 
Born at Sprague, Conn. 

eighth New York Infantry, were detailed as skirm 
ishers preceding a charge by the brigade. Sergeant 
Eugene M. Tinkham, who was with his company in the 
skirmish line, says that "the brigade advanced through 
the woods and charged steadily and bravely across the 
open field, but the odds, both as to men and position, 
were too great, and back over the field, which was 
strewn thickly with dead and wounded, we were 
forced to retreat into the woods from which shortly 
before we had emerged full of hope for victory."- 
The sergeant continues : 

"Knowing that many of our boys were on the 
field in a helpless condition, I asked and received per 
mission to attempt to bring some of them back to our 

lines. By crouching and crawling on hands and knees I reached the side of Andrew 
Grainer, who lay upon the battlefield with a shattered ankle. Rolling him on a 
rubber blanket, I succeeded in hauling him back to his comrades. Then I made a 
second trip and found John Bortle who was in a critical condition and utterly help 
less from a shot in the head, arms, hip and leg. He was a heavy man, and after 
getting him on a rubber blanket, I was forced to adopt a method of my own to drag 
him along. Accordingly I sat down as far from the blanket as I could reach and 
dug holes for my heels to get a brace to work against. Then reaching forward I pulled 
at the corners of the blanket and dragged the wounded man to me. This process 
I repeated until at last I reached the woods where the stretcher bearers were. 
Both wounded men belonged to my company. They died three days later at the 




Principal Musician, 54th Pa. Infantry. 

Born at Edinburgh, Scotland, 

Sept. 19. 1844. 

T N recounting his experience at the battle of Piedmont, 
Va., Musician James Snedden, of the Fifty-fourth 
Pennsylvania Infantry, says : 

"On the 5th of June, 1864, after reveille and a hastily 
cooked breakfast, we were ordered forward on the march, 
which soon brought us within hearing of the enemy s fir 
ing, whereupon our lines were hastily formed and skir 
mishers advanced. During the formation of our line of 
battle we were subjected to a terrific fire from a Con 
federate battery of six twelve-pound guns, but on we 
went until our skirmish line reached a protected posi 
tion, where we were ordered to lie down. 

" I was principal musician of the regiment, and our 
colonel ordered me to take my musicians to the rear 
and if possible keep the command in view, in order to 
join them after the battle. As he spoke to me we both 

observed one of our men on the skirmish line, as he fell, wounded, and I at once 
offered to take his gun and go on the line. The colonel assented and immediately 
thereafter I was in the ranks with my old company. 

"In a few minutes the whole line was charging the Confederate defenses, which 
were constructed of rails and fallen trees, and here both armies received their great 
est losses. The two lines of battle were not more than seventy-five yards apart, 
each pouring lead into the other with good effect. 

"It was during this struggle that the Confederate general, William Jones, was 
killed, and the loss of their gallant leader caused the Confederate line to waver and 
then break. Thus far we had fought for every inch we traversed, but with the break 
in their lines came renewed energy to our charge. Over the works we went, and in 
a hand-to-hand fight drove the rebels slowly back, maintaining their line formation 
until they reached Middle River, where we took 1,500 prisoners. 

" On the banks of the river I encountered a Confederate brigadier-general and 
demanded his surrender, whereupon he reluctantly handed me his sword and two 
revolvers. I then inarched my prisoner to the rear and reported to the brigade 
commander to whom I turned over the general and his sword." 

Piedmont, Ya. General Sigel, commanding one of the two columns into which the army in the Shen- 
andoah Valley was divided, advanced up the valley as far as Newmarket, where, after a fierce engagement, 
he was relieved of his command by General Hunter, who immediately took up the offensive. On the 5th of 
June Hunter encountered the Confederates at Piedmont, where he captured 1,500 prisoners and three 
pieces of artillery. After this battle he formed a junction with Crook and Averell at Staunton, from which 
place they moved toward Lynchburg by way of Lexington. 




Major-General, U. S. Volunteers. 
Born in Hungary. 

N the fifth day of June, 1864, at daybreak 

and shortly after General Hunter s Army 
commenced to move on Staunton, Va., the 
advance force of his cavalry was attacked by the 
enemy and driven in. General Hunter was march 
ing at the head of his army, and immediately ordered 
General Julius Stahel, who was near him, to at 
tack the enemy with his cavalry and to check their 
advance. General Stahel charged the approaching enemy 
and broke and drove them about two miles, where, meeting 
a stronger force, he charged the enemy s line again with 
the same results as before and pursued them as far as 
Piedmont, where he found the enemy in great force, ad 
vantageously posted in a wood behind a line of defenses 
constructed of fallen timber and fence-rails. Having no 
infantry, General Stahel did not attempt to attack them in 

so strong a position, but kept them there with his cavalry until the arrival of Gen 
eral Hunter with his force. The latter at once attacked the enemy s stronghold, 
and ordered General Stahel, whose cavalry was somewhat exhausted, to form the 

The battle raged furiously for some time, each side holding its position, until 
Hunter ordered a general advance all along the line and directed General Stahel to 
dismount that part of the cavalry which was armed with Spencer rifles seven- 
shooters and support the right wing. In compliance with this order, General 
Stahel rapidly moved with his dismounted force to the extreme right, attacked the 
enemy s entrenched position in the wood and dislodged them. During his charge 
General Stahel was badly wounded ; but, wishing to follow up his success, he had his 
wound quickly dressed to stop bleeding. As he was very weak and had the use 
of but one arm he was helped on his horse and, with a portion of his cavalry, 
which was in readiness, made a quick detour at the head of his column, charging 
the enemy on the flank and turning it. Just at that time General Hunter with his 
infantry attacked the whole line with great impetus, and Colonel Wyncoop with the 
balance of the cavalry charged on the right flank. The enemy was now com 
pletely demoralized and fled in great confusion, leaving over 1,000 prisoners, 
including a large number of officers. General W. E. Jones, the commander of the 
enemy s force, was killed and his body fell into the hands of the Union troops. Gen 
eral Hunter pursued the enemy until night set in, capturing many more prisoners, 
and the next morning occupied Staunton. 



The Confederate loss in this battle was estimated at nearly 3,000. General Hun 
ter lost less than 800 men. 

General Stand s courage was highly commended by his superiors and the vic 
tories largely accredited to his gallantry, energy and military qualities. General 
Hunter in his report of June 9, 1864, to General Halleck, wrote: "It is but justice 
to Major-General Stahel to state that in the recent engagement he displayed ex 
cellent qualities of coolness and gallantry, and that for the final happy result the 
country is much indebted to his services." 



Captain, Co. E, First Connecticut Cavalry. 

Highest rank attained: Bvt. Brig-Gen. U. S. V. 

Born at Killingly, Conn., June 15, 1841. 

A FTER its raid against the Danville and South- 
^* side Railway, the Third Cavalry Division, 
commanded by General James H. Wilson, on its 
return march to join the Army of the Potomac 
in front of Petersburg, found a large force of 
rebel infantry, cavalry and artillery in position, 
barring its passage at Ream s Station, Va., within 
five miles of army headquarters. 

Captain E. W. Whitaker, who was serving on 
General Wilson s staff, took in the whole position 
at a glance. Perceiving that it would be imprac 
ticable for this column, jaded and almost worn 
out by a week s incessant marching, working and 
fighting, to force its way farther without assist 
ance, he volunteered to take a squadron and charge through the rebel line and inform 
General Meade of the division s perilous straits and that help must be sent at once. 

General Wilson accepted Captain Whitaker s offer and directed him to proceed 
immediately on his desperate mission. He was entirely ignorant of what had be 
come of the Army of the Potomac, or where he should find it, or what perils he 
would encounter on the way. It looked as though he were starting on a ride to 
certain death. 

Selecting Lieutenant Ford and forty troopers of the Third New York Cavalry, 
he explained to them the hazardous character of the undertaking, and instructed 
them that whoever should survive should make his way as rapidly as possible to 
army headquarters and describe the position of the cavalry column he had left 


Not a man faltered, but the entire detachment dashed forward after their gal 
lant leader, who, bearing to his left and striking the rebel right, broke through theii 
line like a tornado, and galloped on to headquarters, where he arrived at an early 
hour of morning with only eighteen of his gallant cavalrymen. They had cut 
through the enemy s line which one of General Wilson s officers, after reconnoiter- 
ing, had reported as "strong as a stone wall." 

Captain Whitaker gave the necessary information and at once volunteered to 
guide the Sixth Corps to the rescue, but its movements were so dilatory that it did 
not arrive until long after the cavalry column, despairing of help, had made a great 
detour by which it eluded the enemy, extricated itself and rejoined the army several 
days later. 

Captain Whitaker was highly commended by General Wilson, immediately pro 
moted to the rank of major, and received the Medal of Honor for his services in this 
notable charge. 


k N the 15th of June, 1864, at the battle of Kenesaw 
Mountain, a large portion of Johnston s Army 
was in a well-defended position a few miles north of 
Marietta, Ga. The Forty-sixth Ohio had been ordered 
to make an assault on the works, supported by troops 
from General Morgan Smith s- command, while troops of 
General Logan s command were to make a feint to the 
left to divert the attention of the enemy and draw his 

" The carrying out of the plan was according to or 
ders," says Private James K. Sturgeon, "and at the outset 
the Forty-sixth Ohio made a charge over a hummocky 
field. The breastworks were ably defended and during 
our short plunge we were under heavy fire, but we were 
not to be stopped and up over the works we went. At 
once there was a scattering. Some of the Confederates 

surrendered immediately, while others, running to the rear, concealed themselves in 
the tall grass and underbrush of a ravine which they entered. Fortunately for us 
most of the Southerners threw away their guns in their flight. While our regi 
ment was busy securing the captives, three of my comrades and I went out beyond 
the works and followed the fleeing Confederates. We picked up the frightened 
Johnnies everywhere, from behind stumps and logs, in the grass and in the bush. 
We continued this work until we had rounded up some thirty odd prisoners, when 
we marched them back to our lines." 


Private, Co. F, 46th Ohio Infantry. 
Born in Perry Co., Ohio, Nov. 5, 1846. 




Private, Co. F, 133d Ohio Vol. Infantry, 
Born in Circleville, O., Jan. 5, 1841. 

the morning of June 16, 1864, while General 
Grant was crossing to the south side of the 
James River, and General Lee was endeavoring to 
reach Petersburg before Grant could occupy it in 
force, the First Division of the Tenth Corps, com 
manded by General Robert S. Foster, was pushed out 
to destroy as much as possible of the Richmond and 
Petersburg Railway, and delay the Confederate ad 
vance led by General Pickett s Division, until Grant 
could complete his crossing, and again get his army 

The One hundred and thirty-third Ohio, which 
formed part of the division, was placed in support of 
a battery which fired over the men as they lay in a 
rifle pit lately occupied by the enemy, the division 
holding it against repeated assaults by Pickett s forces 

until about 3 o clock P. M. Heavy re-enforcements enabled the enemy to turn the 
position of the Union forces, who were forced to fall back across the open, level 
field about one-half mile to the edge of the woods, where they formed a new line of 
defense. The enemy followed in close pursuit, and their skirmishers occupied the 
abandoned works, while their main body began to form in their immediate rear for 
another assault upon the Union lines. 

It was then reported that Companies B, K and G, of the Ohio regiment, had not 
returned with the main body, and were probably in imminent danger of capture by 
the advancing foe. As a matter of fact, however, the companies mentioned had re 
treated by a different route and were safely posted in another place in the new line. 
Colonel Joshua B. Howell, of the Eighty-fifth Pennsylvania, commanding the 
brigade, directed Colonel G. S. Innis, of the One hundred and thirty-third Ohio, to 
procure a volunteer to go back in the direction of the abandoned position, make a 
search for the missing men, and order them in. He insisted that the messenger 
make haste, as another assault was imminent. 

Private Joseph 0. Gregg of Company F, offered to go. The subsequent events 
are narrated by Adjutant Alanson N. Bull, who issued the call for the volunteer : 

"Gregg had been quite ill the night before. The surgeon had ordered him to 
remain in his quarters, but when he learned that we had been ordered out to a pos 
sible fight he disregarded the surgeon s orders and took his place in the ranks. 

"I hesitated about accepting his volunteer service, as he looked frail ; but the ex 
igency of the case required quick action and I directed him to discard everything 
which might impede his movements, and without delay go out in the direction of 
the abandoned breastworks a short distance and look for our missing men. 


" Through a misunderstanding of my instructions Gregg walked directly across 
the field in full view of the Confederate lines, climbed upon the crest of the breast 
works, then partly occupied by the foe, and stood looking about him as coolly as 
if the battle lines of the enemy did not exist at all. He apparently paid no heed to 
the rapidly advancing foe, whose skirmishers were already in part of the works 
upon which he was standing. Our anxiety for the missing companies and the im 
minently perilous mission of Gregg caused Colonels Howell and Tnnis and myself 
to closely watch his movements through our field glasses. 




" We saw him mount the breastworks, look about him for a moment, then run 
along the crest about 100 feet to the left and suddenly spring from the embank 
ment over which a large number of men in gray could be seen leaping in an effort to 
head off his retreat, while many others were firing at close range at their active 
young foeman, who, dodging with zig-zag rushes to avoid the blows aimed at his head, 
quickly gained the lead and successfully made his escape to our lines, all the while 
under a concentrated fire, several balls having passed through his cap and clothing, 
but without injury to his person other than a few bruises. 

" We considered it a truly remarkable exhibition of daring. Alone, surrounded 
by hundreds of Pickett s best marksmen, surprised by finding himself in the midst 


of enemies instead of friends, and ordered to surrender, Gregg s quick decision and 
prompt, bold action, together with his skill in keeping a portion of his pursuers be 
tween himself and their marksmen, alone enabled him to escape with life and limb, 
when to us who were watching his struggle there did not seem to be a chance in 
his favor. 

"We rode out to meet Gregg as he reached our line, and he reported to us that 
he had seen men behind the breastworks and imagined them to be the companies he 
had been sent after. He had also observed the rapidly approaching battle lines of 
the enemy, and, fearing they would reach the men first and capture them before 
he could warn them of their danger, had run along the crest of the embankment 
and ordered them to fall back to the woods, as we were retreating, only discover 
ing his mistake when a voice called to him : Surrender, you Yankee ! He 
found himself surrounded and being fired at so closely that the powder almost 
burned his face as he leaped from the embankment, dodging others who were strik 
ing at him, and fighting himself clear of the crowd of pursuers, until he reached 
our lines. After hearing his report the colonel commanding said to him : That 
was bravely done ; you must have been under special protection of Providence. 

" The enemy assaulted us a few minutes later, partly breaking our line, but were 
driven back after a sharp fight." 


O ERGEANT JOHN BROSNAN was in command of Company E, 
^ One hundred and sixty-fourth New York Infantry, at 
the battle of Petersburg, Va., June 16, 1864, because so 
many of his superior officers had been either killed or 
wounded. The struggle was desperate and, after repeated 
charges, the Federal line began to waver. 

Sergeant Brosnan sprang to the front and called on his 
men to renew the charge. They did, but were forced into 
a ravine, where they made a fierce rally. When night 
closed in on the worn-out soldiers and they were shielded 
from the enemy by the impenetrable darkness, they threw 
up breastworks. Early the following morning, Brosnan s 
attention was called to loud groans coming from a 
direction exposed to a very heavy fire. Investigation 

showed that a Union soldier had been wounded by concealed rebels. Sergeant 
Brosnan decided to rescue him, although he fully realized the danger of the task. 
Exposed to the fire of rebel sharpshooters, he succeeded in reaching the dying sol 
dier, who proved to be Corporal Michael Carroll, of Company E. 

"For God s sake, Sergeant, lie down or you will be killed," the moribund 
whispered feebly. The plucky sergeant lifted his comrade upon his arms and with 


Sergeant, Co. E, KUth N. Y. Inf. 
Born in I ivlund, July 1,1816. 


great difficulty carried him out of reach of the enemy s 
fire and behind the breastworks. During this heroic 
rescue he himself was struck above the right elbow, 
entailing the loss of the arm. Thus the sergeant be 
came a cripple while saving a wounded comrade. 


Private, Co. H, 85th Penn. Inf. 
Born at Ohiopyle, Pa., Jan. 15, 1845. 

THE same day, when the Union forces had retired 
from Petersburg to Bermuda Hundred, Private Francis 
Morrison, of Company H, Eighty-fifth Pennsylvania 
Infantry, performed a similar deed of heroic devotion. 

The regiment was in full retreat under the mur 
derous fire of General Pickett s advancing troops, 
when Private Jesse Dial, of Morrison s Company, was 
struck by a bullet and left behind. Private Morrison 
saw his comrade fall and, with utter disregard of a hail 
of bullets, advanced towards the enemy and was soon 

at the side of his friend. As he tenderly raised him from the ground he discovered to 
his dismay that Dial was dead. He then carried the corpse back to his regiment. 

A month later, in a charge at Deep Bottom, Va., Private Morrison himself was 
wounded, a musket ball passing through the breast and leaving a wound in his 
back which the most skillful surgery failed to heal up. The award of the Medal of 
Honor was the Government s graceful appreciation of such bravery and soldierly 

JOHN H. HARBOURNE, of the Twenty-ninth Massachusetts Infantry, also won 
his medal in this action. In the heat of the conflict the entire color-guard of the 

Twenty-ninth Massachusetts Infantry was killed, 
whereupon Private Harbourne took the colors and 
carried them at the head of the regiment. The 
Confederates could not withstand the vigorous as 
sault and soon the charging column was on the 
breastworks and into the redoubt. Private Har 
bourne with his flag was close to the Confederate 
colors, lying at the side of their wounded color- 
bearer, and in an instant had them stripped from 
the staff and tucked safely under his blouse. A 
moment after he was wounded in the foot and fell 
to the ground, but upon recovering from the first 
shock he found that the redoubt was taken. Al- 
JOHN H. HARBOURNE, though he was suffering great pain from his wound, 

Private, Co. K, 29th Mass. Inf. 

Born in Birmingham, En g ., sept. e,i84o. he managed to capture three rebels and brought 


them into the Union lines, where he turned them and the Confederate flag over to 
General Burnside. Next morning Private Harbourne was ordered to report at head 
quarters and was there thanked and commended by General Burnside, and sent to 
the hospital. 



Sergeant, Co. F, 48th Connecticut Inf. 
Born at Mayo, Ireland, Nov. 4, 1843 

the night of June 16th, the Forty-eighth 
Connecticut Infantry of the Ninth Army 
Corps," says Sergeant Patrick H. Monaghan, " of which 
I was a member, crossed a marsh in single file, and 
took position close to a portion of rebel ranks. While 
in this position every man was instructed to make 
no noise and be ready for a charge. 

"Before daylight the order came, and we and the 
Thirty-sixth Massachusetts dashed forward under a 
heavy fire, leaped the enemy s breastworks and 
captured four pieces of artillery, six hundred prisoners 
and a thousand stand of arms. The enemy fell back 
in confusion toward their next line, while our troops 
occupied the one just taken. Other members of my 
company and myself followed the retreating rebels. 
Between the line just taken and the next the ground 
was undulating. A small stream flowed in the hol 
low. Clumps of trees and bushes lined either side of this stream and the enemy 
made a stand here and delivered fire. As we dashed forward, I saw an officer near 
the thicket and fired. He fell near the stream with his head almost in the water. 
Immediately a tall rebel threw down his gun and ran toward him. I rushed up 
swiftly and, leveling my empty gun, ordered both to surrender. The tall man cried 
out : Don t shoot the Major ! 

"I told the major to get up and we would help him back. But as I was speak 
ing, I saw another group of rapidly retreating rebels, among them a private with a 
gun in one hand and a flag over his shoulder. I jumped toward him and ordered 
him to drop his gun and surrender. He dropped the gun and I ran forward, took 
the flag and marched him to where my other prisoners were seated. 

" By this time our troops in the line behind us had begun to fire over our heads, 
and the Confederates opened a heavy fire from the line in front, but I ran back to 
my own company with the colors. I got over the breastworks safely, and when I 
unfurled the flag found that it belonged to the New York Heavy Artillery, who had 
lost it in the fight of the previous day. My three prisoners were afterwards brought 
in by some of my companions." 




Private, Co. I, llth New Hampshire 

Born April 1840. 

RIVATE HENRY W. ROWE, of the Eleventh New Hamp 
shire Volunteers, gives the following interesting 
description of how he won his Medal of Honor : 

"On the night of the 15th of June, 1864, Burnside 
with his Ninth Corps crossed the James River, and after 
a twenty-four hour march arrived at the outposts of 
Petersburg with the advance of his corps. At 6 P. M. 
an advance was made in the face of a murderous fire, 
and the Eleventh New Hampshire Volunteers, together 
with the Second Maryland, succeeded in getting close 
under a rebel battery. After several hours of continuous 
firing, during which many men were killed and wounded, 
the assault had to be given up. 

"Not discouraged by this first repulse, Burnside 
reconnoitered the lines and determined to make a 
second assault. The point chosen for the attack was a 

residence owned by Mr. Shand, a large two-story building shaded by buttonwood 
and gum trees, with a peach orchard in the rear. Fifty yards from the front door 
w r as a narrow ravine fifteen or twenty feet deep, with a brook flowing northward. 
West of the house about the same distance was another brook, the two joining 
twenty rods north of the house. A rebel brigade held this tongue of land with four 
guns. Their main line of breastworks was along the edge of the ravine east of the 
house. South, and on higher ground, was a redan with two guns, which enfiladed 
the ravine. 

" It was Burnside s idea to take this tongue of land, break the rebel line and com 
pel the evacuation of the redan. General Potter s Division of the Ninth Corps was 
selected to carry out his plan, and the attacking column was to consist of General 
Griffin s brigade on the right, supported by Curtis on the left. Griffin s brigade con 
tained, all told, only 260 men, and in the front line the Eleventh New Hampshire 
found its place, including Company I with its remaining five privates. 

"A little past midnight General Potter led his division into the ravine in front 
of the house. The soldiers divested themselves of knapsacks, canteens and cups 
everything which could make a noise and moved forward stealthily. All was still 
and perfectly quiet. We reached the ravine, and there above us, not fifteen paces 
distant, w^ere the rebel pickets. The night was warm and sultry. The sky was 
flecked by only a few light clouds, the moon becoming full and clear. Not a sound 
was heard, save the rumble of a wagon or a stray shot from the enemy s pickets. 

"Finally, a little past three, as the dawn was beginning to light up in the east, 
the command, Forward ! was passed along the line in whispers. 



" The men rose in a body from the ground ; not a gunlock clicked ; the bayonet 
was to do the work. Forward we started with steady, noiseless step. One bound 
and the rebel pickets were overpowered. Now toward the Shand House, and over 
the breastworks ! At the right of the house, Comrade Batchelder, of Company I, 
joined me, and soon we fell in with Sol Dodge, Sergeant of Company C. Passing 
the second corner of the house, we heard the report of a musket from a rebel pit 
about fifteen feet to the right. We ran around to the rear of this pit and shouted : 
Surrender, you damned rebels! The Johnnies were rather rudely awakened 
from their sleep, and although twenty-seven in number, dropped their guns. 
Guarded by our attacking force of three, they were finally turned over to the Union 
officers in the rear, together with a rebel flag captured by myself. The rebel line 
was broken and Grant s lines were drawn closer around Petersburg." 


XI \A/ HILE some ^00 men of the Fourth and Sixteenth 

\ m * * Vermont Infantry were destroying the Weldon 

__ifiiJMfc^ l 1 Railroad, Va., June 23, 1864, they found themselves sur 
rounded by General Mahone s Division of 3,000 Confed 
erates; but though they were so greatly outnumbered, 
they nevertheless made a brave resistance. The enemy s 
fire w 7 as doing terrible execution ; more than half of the 
Union soldiers had been killed or wounded. 

The commanding officer of the Vermonters, seeing 
they could not extricate themselves, and that capture 
was inevitable, stepped up to Sergeant James Drury, 
of the Fourth Vermont Infantry, who had the colors, 
and remarked that the regiment would lose its 

Drury replied: "They will have to kill this 
Irishman before they get it." 

The officer pointed to a road which seemed to offer some chance as an avenue 
of escape. 

"Go that way and perhaps you may succeed in escaping the rebels," the officer 
observed. Drury lost no time in following the advice. Wrapping the flag around 
the staff, he said to his command : " Boys, I m going to save this flag or die in the 

Privates Brown and Wilson called out: "We ll be with you, Sergeant." 
And then the three started across the open fields. They had not progressed far, 
however, when the rebels shouted to them : " Halt, you damned Yankees ! " 


Sergeant, Co. C. 4th Vermont Infantry 
Born in Ireland in 1835. 


but the Yankees did not halt. A shower of bullets was sent after them. Poor 
Brown fell. To their regret they had to leave the brave fellow behind. Sergeant 
Drury and his remaining companion, Private Wilson, ran as fast as they could and 
safely reached the timber. By this time darkness had set in and the fugitives were 
able to conceal themselves in the woods till daybreak, when they found the Federal 
pickets, and thus saved the flag from falling into the enemy s hands. 


THE battle around Saint Mary s Church, Va., June 
24, 1864, brought the Second Brigade of the 
Second Division of Sheridan s Cavalry into a sharp 
and deadly struggle with superior numbers of Wade 
Hampton s Confederate Cavalry. 

About three o clock in the afternoon, after irreg 
ular skirmishing all morning, the enemy made an 
attack in great force on the Second Brigade, to 
which Colonel Charles H. Smith s First Maine Cav 
alry was attached, and from that time until dark 
the fight was carried on by the brigade with un 
daunted vigor. The enemy, over-confident because 
of their overwhelming numbers, charged time and 
again, only to be met and held in check by the gal 
lant brigade. There were no disengaged men in 
the Union lines ; all worked with a fury, the cavalry 
charging, while two batteries in the rear poured 

load after load of canister into the staggering lines of the enemy. Colonel Smith, 
at the head of his regiment, was wounded in the thigh, but, keeping his seat, led his 
brave men into the thickest of the fight, where his horse was shot from under him. 
Mounting another, he again was in the lead. Again his horse was shot from under 
him, throwing him heavily to the ground. A third horse was secured, and in the 
retreat, after two hours of the fiercest cavalry fighting, the colonel, although again 
wounded, remained with his men, fighting the pursuing rebels until darkness put an 
end to this unequal contest. 


Colonel, 1st Maine Cavalry. 

Highest rank attained : Bvt. Maj-Gen., 


Born at Hollis, Me., Nov. 1, 1827. 

The object of the Trevelian Raid, Va., June 7-24, 1864, was to go to Lynchburg and open communica 
tion with General Hunter. That object was not accomplished and the cavalry returned via the White 
House Landing, where a large train of wagons was packed awaiting escort to the James River. The cavalry 
supplied the escort and crossed the Chickahominy at Jones Bridge. On the morning of the 24th, Gregg s 
Division was sent to Saint Mary s Church as a flank guard, and, thus became separated from the main 
cavalry corps. Hampton discovered this fact, and, as he despaired of capturing the train, concentrated all 
his cavalry to capture or destroy Gregg s Division. 




Sergeant, Troop M, llth Pa. Cavalry. 

Born at Bollfont, Columbiana County, 

Ohio, Nov. 20, 1887. 

A SMALL force, part of which was the Eleventh Penn- 
^* sylvania Cavalry, was sent, June 25, 1864, under 
command of Lieutenant-Colonel Stetzel, to destroy the 
railroad bridge across the Staunton River, half a mile 
south of Burk s Junction, Va. The enemy was strongly 
entrenched on the south side of the river and on both 
sides of the railway bridge. The approach to the bridge 
and the Confederates position was flat meadow land, 
destitute of cover for the advancing force, excepting 
perhaps a slight depression caused by the dry bed of a 
branch of the river. The Pennsylvania Cavalry was 
ordered to advance on the bridge and entrenchments, 
led by carbineers selected from each company. A 
member of Troop M being suddenly stricken ill, the 
captain called for a volunteer to take the sick man s 
place, and Sergeant Nelson W. Ward, though he himself 

had been on sick report for a day or two, volunteered and took his place in the 
ranks. The story is continued by Sergeant Ward, as follows : 

"Our troops moved forward in an irregular line, and, with the right resting on a 
small trestle between the railway station and the bridge, took a position in the dry 
bed of the stream. The fury of the fight was soon on, firing at short range from 
both artillery and infantry sending death into our ranks with terrific swiftness. 
With a salute to my captain, I asked : Isn t the colonel going to form the men in 
line for a charge on the bridge ? at which Captain Gerard Reynolds replied, giving 
the order: Forward, men, forward ! They were the brave officer s last words, for 
he fell dead, shot as he uttered the last word of his command. 

"Just then, too, from under the trestle, we heard the colonel ordering the captain 
to move his men to the right, toward the railroad. Thus, with our company com 
mander dead, our regimental commander skulking, it was not singular that the men 
wavered under the shower of shot and shell. One of the men asked me : What 
are we to do? I replied: Follow me, boys, and. swinging my carbine over my 
head, I led in a charge against the bridge until every man but one had been shot 

Staimton River Bridge, Va. While operating in Virginia in June, 1864, General James H. Wilson, 
commanding the Third Division of Sheridan s Cavalry Corps, ordered General Kautz s Division to attack 
the enemy and destroy the bridge across the Staunton River. The attack was maintained for three hours, 
but failed. The Federals suffered a loss of sixty in killed and wounded. 


" It was an awful slaughter and a hopeless effort. With but two of us left, we 
started back for the dry bed depression. On the way I found the dead body of my 
captain, and stopping, I knelt down to secure his money, watch, revolver and spur. 
Although repeatedly urged by comrades across the railway and further back on the 
line, I remained fully twenty minutes at his side, endeavoring to procure assistance 


* :-r 

to carry the corpse off the field, but I waited and begged in vain, and finally had to 
retreat to the main force without the body of our brave and beloved captain." 

During this truly heroic effort, a bullet struck the heel of Sergeant Ward s boot, 
and another bullet passed through the skirt of his blouse. 

The money and other articles from Captain Reynolds were turned over to the 
proper authorities. 



A LONZO P. Webber, of the Eighty-sixth Illinois Volun- 
** teers, Principal Musician of his regiment when it 
was engaged at the battle of Kenesaw Mountain, Ga., 
June 27, 1864, distinguished himself by voluntarily ad 
vancing as a sharpshooter. 

Seeing the desperate situation of his regiment, with 
no chance to advance, he obtained permission from 
Colonel Fahnestock to "go in" as a sharpshooter. With 
a Winchester rifle and 120 rounds of ammunition, he 
succeeded in advancing to within twenty-seven feet of 
the rebel line of battle, which was formed in V shape. 
There he found shelter behind a tree, and although he 

was at the apex, with the enemy on both sides of him, he stood his ground from 
nine o clock in the morning until six o clock in the evening. Being an excellent 
shot he brought down a number of the enemy, while the Union forces lay behind 
him at the distance of a city block or more, unable to get closer to the enemy s line. 
Webber s courage on that day won him the admiration of his whole regiment, 
none of whom had expected to see him return alive from his dangerous position. 


Principal Musician, 86th Illinois Vol. 
Born March 16, 1828. 

Kenesaw Mountain, Ga. Almost continuous fighting was engaged in from the 8th to the 27th of June, 
1864, in the vicinity of Kenesaw Mountain, both sides sustaining serious losses. Sherman had moved his 
army to a position in front of Allatoona, occupying the railroad from Allatoona and Acworth to Big Shanty, 
in sight of Kenesaw Mountain, where he was joined by General Blair, with two divisions of the Seventeenth 
Corps, thus making his effective force 100,000 men. On the 10th he moved his army to Big Shanty, repaired 
the railroad and bridges, and had the cars running up to his skirmish lines. 

Heavy fighting occurred on the 14th at Pine Mountain, near the Acworth and Marietta Road, in 
which General Polk was killed by one of Sherman s volleys from a battery fired to keep up the appearance 
of a bold offensive. Johnston concentrated his strength by the 20th and made his position strong, with the 
Kenesaw Mountain for a salient. On the 27th, Sherman, after stretching his lines to the utmost, fell upon 
Johnston s fortified position, the assault being made in the morning. At all points along the ten miles 
over which Sherman s army extended the Confederates resisted the assaults, and by noon Sherman s 
attempt was pronounced a failure. 

Sherman s loss was about 2,500, while Johnston s was only 800. A truce was granted on the 29th of 
June to allow the Federals to bury their dead. 





First Lieutenant, Co. D, 10th Vermont Inf. 

Born at Dunstable, Mass., Dec. 26, 1839. 

Highest rank attained: Captain. 

ENERAL LEW WALLACE, who was opposing Gen- 
era! Early s advance at the Monocacy River, 
Md., in July, 1864, placed a line of skirmishers on 
the west bank of the river to defend a railroad 
bridge and a wooden bridge that continued the 
pike from Frederick City to Washington. 

On the 9th the situation was critical. Early s 
forces greatly outnumbered Wallace s. Ricketts 
was engaged with the enemy and might be driven 
back before the skirmishers could be retired. If 
the skirmishers were retired the enemy would fol 
low on their heels, thus allowing no time to destroy 
the bridge. 

General Wallace, seeing that it was useless to 
further resist the overwhelming assault, decided to 
destroy the bridge and sacrifice his skirmishers to 
save Washington. 

Lieutenant George E. Davis, of Company D, Tenth Vermont Infantry, who was 
in command of the skirmishers, gives the following account of their brave resistance 
of the enemy and of their ultimate escape : 

"Early in the morning on the 9th, with one second lieutenant and seventy-five 
men of our regiment, I was ordered to report as skirmishers to Captain Charles J. 
Brown, commanding Companies C and K, First Maryland Regiment, near the block 
house on the west bank of the Monocacy River. He and his two hundred men had 
just entered the service for one hundred days, to repel this invasion of Washington, 
and knew nothing of actual service. The lieutenant-colonel, nominally command 
ing our skirmishers, w r as not present, so that when the enemy advanced along the 
pike to Frederick City at about 8:30 A. M., Captain Brown insisted upon my taking 
command, and ordered me to hold the two bridges at all hazards, and prevent the 
enemy from crossing. 

" I assumed command instantly, brought up my Tenth Vermonters to this point, 
and after a severe fight of about an hour the enemy retired. Having just assumed 
command, I knew nothing of the situation, or plan of battle, except as was apparent 

After the battle of Piedmont, Va., General Hunter advanced toward Lynchburg, which he reached 
on the 16th of June, 1864, but for want of ammunition he sought Harper s Ferry, which left the Shenan- 
doah Valley uncovered. General Early took prompt advantage of this opening to cross the upper Potomac 
into Maryland and threaten Washington. After rapid marches he crossed the Potomac on the 4th of July, 
but was met by General Lew Wallace at the Monocracy River, who, in General Hunter s absence, made an 
obstinate stand against the invaders. Wallace, with his small force, was unable to cope with the over 
whelming force of the enemy, and retired, but not, however, until after he had held Early in check long 
enough to notify Grant of the situation, whereupon the latter ordered Wright s Corps to push out and 
to attack Early ; but the Confederates retired across the Potomac with but little loss. 


to the eye. The natural advantages of cover and position were in our favor. The 
main body of the enemy moved around to our left and crossed the river at a ford 
one mile southwest, compelling General Ricketts to change front to the left and 
advance his line to the west of the pike. This left us a part of the main line of 
battle, without any support in our rear, which gave the enemy the opportunity to cut 
us off, take us prisoners, cross the railroad bridge and turn General Ricketts position 




"Anticipating a flank attack, I had, on assuming command, sent pickets up and 
down the river, who warned me of this movement, which was entirely hidden from 
my view. I drew back my men to the west end of the railroad bridge, faced to the 
north, repelled the attack, then resumed my former position on the pike, which we 
held until the final retreat at about five o clock. During all this time we were the 
only troops on the west side of the river. 


" In the early part of this noon attack, the wooden bridge over the Monocacy 
River was burned, without notice to me. At the same time the Ninth New York 
pickets were all withdrawn, also without notice. 

"The third and last attack began about 3:30 P. M. The situation was critical; 
the enemy came upon us in such overwhelming numbers and with such desperation 
that it seemed as though we should be swept into the river. The place of the Ninth 
New York pickets at my left had not been filled : the force of the hundred-day men 
was diminishing. Apprehending an advance at my left, I sent Corporal John G. 
Wright through a cornfield to reconnoiter. He was killed at once. Immediately 
the enemy were seen passing around my right, to cut us off from retreat by the rail 
road bridge ; our division was falling back and we were obliged to do likewise at once 
or succumb to the merciless fire. I gave the signal to retreat to my noble Vermont- 
ers, who had stood the fire without wavering. We gained the railroad bridge and 
started across, stepping from tie to tie. It seemed ages before we reached the other 
side, though in reality it must have been only a few minutes. One poor fellow fell 
through the bridge to the river, forty feet below, and several were taken prisoners, 
for the enemy had been close at our heels all the way. Those of our number who 
escaped rejoined our regiment at midnight." 


Iowa Cavalry, who participated in General 
McCook s Cavalry Raid during Sherman s Atlanta 
campaign, says: "At Newnan, Ga., July 29, 1864, 
our company was ordered out on the skirmish line 
which was on the extreme left of our main line of 
battle. The engagement lasted more or less all day. 
In moving out we struck into low ground, timber and 
heavy undergrowth It was difficult to keep our align 
ment and intervals and consequently I soon discovered 
that I was alone and unobserved. Suddenly I ran into 
a body of Confederate soldiers. Their officer was giving 
a command to mount and count fours. They did not 
see me, so I began to retrace my steps and moved back 
to find my command, when, to my surprise, I came 
upon a Confederate who was seated on a log and ordered 
him to drop his gun, which he did. I picked it up and 
threw it into the creek. Just as I was about to move with 

my prisoner I heard someone approaching us. Ordering the rebel to lie down, I sought 
protection from behind a tree and waited. To my satisfaction I recognized in the 
new arrival Private Oscar Martin, of my company, who was bareheaded and coming 


Corporal, Troop E, Fifth Iowa Cavalry. 
Born in Dubuque, Iowa, Feb. 22, 1842 


toward me at a quick pace. He had lost his way. Looking at my prisoner and 
pointing to the direction whence he had come, he said : The woods are full of 
em. Yes, I replied, pointing to where I had been, and over there, too. 

" Martin scrutinized my prisoner and asked : What have you got in that bag ? 

" The rebel answered : Chewing tobacco. 

" Whereupon Martin compelled him to disgorge, and, I confess, it came in handy. 

" As we were about to resume our march, we heard men talking. We got behind 
a tree and the next minute four Confederates came, trailing in Indian fashion, 
toward us. Martin and I stepped from behind the trees and covered them. I or 
dered : Halt ! Drop those guns ! but had to repeat the command before they obeyed. 
I then marched them some fifty feet, halted them, and ordered one man to advance 
at a time, when Martin and I relieved them of their revolvers, holsters and belts. 
Next, while Martin kept guard, I went back, removed the cartridges from the rifles 
they had dropped and returned the empty guns to them. We moved toward our 
lines and reached them without further interruption, where we turned our five pris 
oners over to General McCook, who paid us a high compliment." 

Corporal Healey received a Medal of Honor ; his companion died or he would 
doubtless have been honored in a like manner. 


** Atlanta, an act wa,s performed by Color-Sergeant 
William Crosier, of the One hundred and forty-ninth 
New York Infantry, of which an officer of his regi 
ment says : 

" It was one of superb bravery in action and of de 
votion to the flag, which made him hold life as nothing 
beside the safety of the starry banner." 

This officer continues : " The field was covered with 
woods, thick with undergrowth and trailing vines. The 
troops of the line of battle were suddenly and unex 
pectedly attacked by a superior force and routed. Our brigade, being in reserve 
in column of regiments, was ordered forward, each regiment advancing as it became 


Color Sergeant, 149th N. Y. Infantry. 
Born at Skaneatolos. N. Y.. August 30, 


During the operations before Atlanta by the Union Army, the Confederate general, Johnston, was 
relieved of his command by Hood, who at once engaged the Federals at Peach Tree Creek, Oa., July 20, 
1864. He was repulsed with a loss of 4,796. Sherman s loss was 1,710. After several engagements in 
which the Federals were victorious, Hood retired, September 2, to Lovejoy s Station, thirty miles away, 
and Sherm an took possession of the town. 


deployed. This brought the regiments into action singly, and each in turn was 
routed by overwhelming numbers. 

" Our regiment crossed the enfiladed ravine at the center, with the colors and 
about seventy-five officers and men, and ascended the woody acclivity thickly un- 
dergrown with brush and vines, only to recoil under a withering fire full in our 

Sergeant Crosier adds : " We were far ahead of the main line, trying to establish 
the advanced position, when the fight began. The regiments were sent in, one at a 
time, to check the advance of the enemy, and were literally wiped out as they were 
struck. Then came movements never to be forgotten. My six color-guards having 
all been shot down within six feet from where I stood, I found myself alone, un 
armed, with Confederates storming all around me and demanding my flag. I cried 
to them to take it, if they could, and, swiftly tearing the flag off the staff, stuffed it 
under my shirt and retreated, leaving my flag-staff behind." 

Out of the bushes Sergeant Crosier came staggering and covered with blood from 
a serious wound, and empty handed. He met Colonel Barnum, the commander of 
the regiment. " Where is that flag ? " he angrily demanded of the color-sergeant, 
drawing his sword ready to cut him down. 

Sergeant Crosier smiled feebly, unbuttoned his blouse and produced the flag. 


"My grateful personal acknowledgment of the almost ines- 
teemable service you rendered the country. * * * 

" Your chivalry and daring described by the above generals 
and so appreciated by them and by myself, which always win the 
admiration of the world, are acts of absolute, indomitable courage, 
not needing to be emblazoned by the correspondent s pen, as they 
are written on the annals of the American history by your sword. 

" Yours very truly. 


THE proud recipient of this flattering letter was 
Captain M. R. William Grebe of the Fourth 
Missouri Cavalry and aide-de-camp to Generals Mc- 
Pherson, 0. 0. Howard, and Logan. 

The generals to w 7 hom the President refers are 
Generals Sherman, Sheridan, Logan, and Blair. 

Interesting indeed must be the career of the sol 
dier who earns the praise from these heroes of a great 
nation ! Captain Grebe s career is highly fascinating, romantic, thrilling. 

When the war broke out, Grebe, who is a native of the Province of Hanover - 
then the Kingdom of Hanover was a lieutenant in the army of his country. The 


Captain. Fourth Missouri Cavalry. 

Born in Hildesheim, Germany, Aug. 4, 1838. 

Highest rank attained: Major. 


struggle of the Union for freedom and liberty aroused in the young officer an 
enthusiasm for the Federal cause which induced him to resign his rank, leave home 
and country and cross the ocean to espouse a cause which had appealed to him so 

Upon his arrival here he at once joined the Union forces and was made a lieu 
tenant of Troop T, Fourth Missouri Cavalry. His military training and excellent 
soldierly qualities at once drew the attention of his superior officers to him and ere 
long he found himself promoted to a captaincy in the same regiment. A little later 
Major-General McPherson selected him as one of his aides-de-camp. 

From the very outset of his military career on this side of the Atlantic, when he 
first went into battle until a dramatic incident abruptly placed him back to a 
civilian s life, Captain Grebe s conduct was one of inspiring brilliancy a succession 
of extraordinarily daring feats, so much so that Congress in awarding him the Medal 
of Honor found it impossible to particularize, but granted it for his general gallant 

On July 22, 1864, he was sent by General Mc*Pherson to deliver a message to 
General Kilpatrick at Decatur, Ga. The Confederates were driving back the Union 
cavalry in wild confusion and had successfully turned the Federal left wing. Captain 
Grebe delivered his message and at once obtained permission to participate in a 
cavalry charge with his orderly, Henry Wagner. He himself led this charge and 
in a mad rush, which struck terror to the hearts of the Confederates, while it inspired 
his own men, broke through the ranks of the enemy, completely routing them. 
He caught up with the color-bearer, who had the flag fastened to his stirrup and leg, 
thus allowing him to handle the reins and his revolver without hindrance. The 
Confederate frequently fired at Grebe, two of the shots taking effect ; but that did 
not deter the plucky captain, and when his horse was along side that of the Confed 
erate s, he grasped the flag and cut the rebel down with a tremendous sabre blow 
over the head. 

Captain Grebe, however, did not escape unhurt. He was bleeding profusely from 
two gunshot wounds in his legs, and upon his return to General McPherson was told 
by this commander to seek medical aid at the hospital, but the captain declined and 
in spite of his condition remained in the saddle all day. 

During the afternoon of that same day General McPherson was shot and the 
captain again became a leading figure in the battle. 

He was riding to the place where he had only a short time before left the gen 
eral, when, to his amazement, he observed his commander s horse coming riderless 
from a thicket. Instantly Captain Grebe knew what had happened. 

Dauntless and alone, not knowing whether he would encounter an army corps 
or a corporal s guard, collecting a few cavalrymen on the way, Captain Grebe charged 
into the thick underbrush. 


General Frank P. Blair says in his official report : " The fearless captain ran up 
against the very rebels who had just killed General McPherson. The dead hero had 
been robbed of his belt, field-glasses, watch, pistol and papers. The struggle took 
place where the general had fallen. A rebel on horseback made a dash at Captain 
Grebe, who shot him down. Two men on foot raised their guns at the Captain s 
head. Wagner, the plucky orderly, put a bullet into one, while the captain himself 
split the other s head with his sabre. Then the rebels fled, leaving the general s 
body in the possession of Captain Grebe, who on this occasion captured a corporal 
and numerous other prisoners." 


Six days later, at Ezra Church, General Logan s Corps was engaged with the 
enemy, who had made three furious assaults on his lines, only to be repulsed each 
time. After the third repulse and countercharge by the Union troops, S. Houston, 
of Company F, Fourth Missouri Cavalry, was missing. Some time later he was dis 
covered midway between the lines of battle and held down by the body of his horse. 
Captain Grebe instantly mounted his horse and dashed out toward the enemy s line, 
some 700 yards distant. Reaching Houston s side he dismounted, cut him free from 


straps and stirrups and, getting him out from under the horse, helped him into his 
own saddle. Then, mounting behind, he brought him back to be received with a 
tremendous cheer along the whole Union lines." 

At the battle of Jonesboro, August 31, 1864, Captain Grebe, at that time aide to 
General 0. 0. Howard, volunteered to cross Flint river with a message to a dis 
mounted cavalry regiment which was needed to re-enforce the line of battle at a point 
which was seriously threatened. Away he started and after swimming the river and 
crossing an old cotton field, continuously braving a terrific fire of musketry, grape 
and canister, he reached the regiment and started with it in the return. As the re- 
enforcement took position in the line of battle, Captain Grebe dismounted and, pick 
ing up the gun of a fallen comrade, took his place in line. He was in a kneeling posi 
tion, firing, with one knee for a "rest," when General Logan and his staff rode up 
from behind. The general, recognizing his former aide, remarked jokingly: "Captain, 
you re getting religious even in battle line and you will go to heaven ; but this is no 
place for a camp meeting." 

At this Captain Grebe jumped upon the earthworks and waving his gun, shouted : 
" To hell with camp meetings, let s go to yonder hell first. Come on boys ! " Gen 
eral Logan s bugler sounded the call and the whole line made a most successful 
charge. As the Union forces met the Confederate line, which was turning to run, 
Captain Grebe struck a color-bearer, who fell, dragging the colors down with him. 
Then the captain got into a hand-to-hand fight with several Confederates and was 
nearly overcome, when an officer of Osterhaus Corps came to his assistance. Cap 
tain Grebe again sprang forward to wrench the flag from the fallen color-bearer, 
when the sword of a hostile sergeant struck his left breast and he fell unconscious 
upon the body of the rebel flag-bearer. Simultaneously, Wagner again came to his 
captain s rescue, and with a slashing blow of his sabre cut the Confederate sergeant 

After the battle General Logan saluted Captain Grebe with a wave of his slouch 
hat, saying: "Well done, Grebe ; the battle is won by your intrepidity and dash." 

And now follows a dramatic incident. Captain Grebe, in recognition of his 
unusually gallant services, was ordered to proceed to St. Louis, Mo., to be promoted 
Colonel of the Fourth Missouri Cavalry. While in that city he one evening escorted 
a lady to a theatre and was incensed at an insult to which he and the lady were sub 
jected by Ferdinand Hansen, also a cavalry officer. A duel was the inevitable out 
come. They fought with 45-calibre revolvers at a distance of twelve yards. Hansen 
fell, shot through the breast, but eventually recovered. Captain Grebe was cashiered 
from the army as well as all those who had any part in this affaire d honneur. 

Thirty years elapsed before Captain Grebe s case, the duel and the cause which 
led up to it, was investigated by Congress. Then not only was his honorable dis 
charge ordered, but so greatly impressed were the nation s representatives with the 
military record of this officer that they awarded him the Medal of Honor as a just 
tribute of his unexcelled bravery. 




Private, Co. E, 12th Wisconsin Infantry. 
Born at Lowell, Mass.. Aug. 19. 1841. 

AN assault was made by General Force s Brigade 
** upon rebel works at Bald Hill, near Atlanta, 
Ga., July 21, 1864. The action opened early in the 
morning by a bayonet charge up the hill, through a 
cornfield and across a field of underbrush and small 
trees felled in all directions to obstruct the advance. 
The Twelfth Wisconsin formed part of the brigade, 
and as it swept up the hill Private Edwin M. Truell, 
of Company E, was severely wounded in the right foot 
by a Minie ball. The wound was very painful and 
caused the injured man to limp, but he could still 
travel and bravely kept up in line. The regiment 
took three lines of breastworks and captured many 
prisoners. As the "Union soldiers bounded over the 
earthworks at the first line, the rebels in the trenches 

were completely taken by surprise. They were at their breakfast and left their corn 
and cakes and bacon in tin pans on the ground as they sprang to their feet, guns in 
hand. Private Truell struck three Confederates, who were so terror-stricken that 
they, unable to recover their wits, cried: "We surrender! We surrender! Wliat 
shall we do ? " 

"Throw down your guns and go to the rear!" Private Truell shouted, and the 
rebels fairly fell over each other in their haste to comply. The a,dvance continued. 
Once over the last line, Private Truell took station behind a large pine tree, where 
he tried to rally his comrades to his support. The order to retreat had been given, 
however, and the breastworks on the right, which had not been captured, were now 
pouring in an enfilading fire. For some few minutes Private Truell maintained his 
position, but, finding it impossible to bring others forward and anticipating a charge 
by the enemy in an effort to retake the works, he fell back across the road and 
rejoined his comrades. The rebels did charge and during the subsequent severe 
fighting the plucky private received a second shot close to the first wound and fell 
exhausted from loss of blood to the ground. 

His comrades ran to his assistance and offered to take him to the rear, but he 
refused. Instead he crawled on hands and knees through a strip of w r oods, across 
the field and dow r n the hill to a little creek, where he dressed and bandaged his own 
wound with a handkerchief. He returned in the same manner, and, unmindful of 
his own condition, directed his attention to his wounded comrades, whose thirst he 
quenched from his canteen, and w r hose sufferings he endeavored to alleviate. It was 
evening when he was taken off the field and conveyed to a field hospital, where, after 
seven weeks of intense suffering, the leg was amputated. 




Captain, Co. L, 14th New York Artillery. 

Highest rank attained : Colonel. 

Born at Houghton Homestead, Macomb, St. 

Lawrence Co., N. Y., April 80, 1842. 

A X T"HEN General Meade changed General Burn- 
* * side s plan of attack at the battle of the 
Crater, Va., July 30, 1864, and ordered that one 
division of white troops should lead the assault, 
if fell by lot to the Fourteenth New York Artillery 
to lead the charge. The mine extending from the 
Union lines to a point under the Confederate strong 
hold was ready to be sprung July 29. During the 
night General Ledlie s Division, to which the Four 
teenth New York Artillery belonged, marched out 
through the covered ways and formed lines just in 
rear of the most advanced Federal works, where it 
awaited the explosion with no little anxiety, and as 
the men had been without sleep all night many lay 
down for a brief rest. 

" No word could be uttered aloud ; orders were given in a whisper," says Captain 
Charles H. Houghton, of Company L, Fourteenth New York Artillery. "After 
hours of silent and anxious waiting we knew the time for the explosion had 
passed and later learned that a lieutenant and a sergeant of the Forty-eighth Penn 
sylvania had gone into the tunnel and found that the burning fuse had gone out 
where it had been spliced. It was relighted and soon after, about daylight, it 
reached the magazines. The effect was beyond description. The earth under us, 
and for some distance back of us, seemed to be the brink of a volcano, or the 
long roll of an ocean swell. Soldiers lying on the ground were almost lifted to a 
standing position ; and then with a mighty power the earth opened, flames shot up 
ward, carrying the earth, timbers, cannon, men, and everything within the fort, to 
a distance of seventy-five or a hundred feet. The scene was magnificently sublime, 
though it brought death and destruction to all within it, and to add to the reality of 
this inferno some two hundred pieces of artillery in our works opened fire with 
death-dealing missiles upon the enemy s line. Under this fire the charging columns 
advanced, meeting at the outset a serious obstruction, as our works at the nearest 

The Battle of the Crater (Petersburg, Va.) On the 25th of June, 1864, work was begun under the direc 
tion of Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Pleasants, of the Forty-eighth Pennsylvania Infantry, upon the structure 
known as the Crater. This work, approved by General Burnside, commander of the Ninth Corps, had the 
disapproval of General Meade, commander, and Major Duane, chief engineer of the Army of the Potomac. 
Accordingly Colonel Pleasants was forced to prosecute his work, under almost insurmountable disad 
vantage. Then, too, General Burnside s plan of attack, submitted by request of General Meade, was 
changed in several very material particulars. In the end, so far as the construction and explosion of the 
mine were concerned, the effort was a success. Otherwise, and for very many reasons, it was a great 
calamity to the Union Army. The Federal losses aggregated over 7,000 men, killed, wounded and missing. 


point, being lower down on the sloping ground, had to be built higher than usual and 
had not been prepared for scaling. But ladders were quickly formed by some of 
our men placing their bayonets between the logs and holding the butt end of the 
muskets at hip and on shoulders, up which the others climbed, aided by officers 
standing on top of the parapet. But as rapidity of action at such time was of the 
greatest importance, Colonel Marshall, commanding the brigade, and standing below 
within the works, ordered me to go forward with what men I had. We moved with 
out waiting for the rest of our command, at double-quick, to the Crater, and planted 
our flag first over its ruins, capturing many prisoners and two brass field pieces 
which were in the left wing of the fort not damaged by the explosion. I decided 
that the magazines must be near, and my men soon uncovered the entrance, which 
had been filled with falling earth. One gun was soon prepared for action, and 
silenced one of the enemy s guns which was giving us canister. Our first fire 
brought in a number of prisoners forced to surrender or meet death. 

" On reaching the Crater, an appalling sight was witnessed. We realized some 
thing of the terrible effect which the explosion of so much powder, placed twenty- 
five feet directly under the fort, must cause. We found an excavation some thirty 
feet deep, sixty feet wide, and probably 130 feet long. One huge lump of red clay 
was thrown on the surface facing our own works ; broken guns, timbers, sand bags, 
men buried in every conceivable position, some with an arm, hand or head only 
uncovered ; others with feet uppermost, and still others on top of the fallen earth, 
with bones broken. One had fallen to the bottom of a shaft twelve feet deep, at the 
entrance of a countermining tunnel, toward our lines. 

" We were not able to learn, nor had we time to explore its extent, but were in 
formed by a captured lieutenant that two such shafts had been sunk, tunnels 
being worked at the time, and, had they gone deep enough, would have discovered 
our own. 

" We were forced to pass through the Crater, climb the opposite slanting wall, 
and over the crest to traverses beyond, where our men received the fire of the Con 
federates from whom, in a hand-to-hand encounter, we captured a Confederate 
battle flag. 

"But in the meantime the enemy had not been idle. A battery had been 
brought up from the left to a position out of range of our artillery, and opened fire 
with grape and canister on our troops, and sweeping the crest of the Crater, aided 
also by the guns in the two forts on our right, and one on the left flank, re-enforce 
ments having been thrown into the Confederate main line on both flanks, their 
terrific and incessant fire concentrated upon that point rendered it impossible for 
us to advance and deploy. 

"A brigade of General Mahone s Confederate division advanced to a charge, 
during which their battery had to withhold fire, giving us an opportunity to bring 
into action one of the captured guns, and by turning it upon this column efficient aid 


was rendered to our infantry in repulsing this first effort to dislodge us. The 
ammunition from the rebel magazine being nearly exhausted, and our gunners too 
exposed in working it in plain view and range of the enemy, we were compelled to 
discontinue its use, and soon thereafter Mahone s entire Confederate division 

advanced and charged our colored troops, who had 
done splendid fighting, and, being now compressed 
to a small space with no protection on front nor 
flank, were forced back, carrying the other troops 
with them to our main line. 


"I passed through the Crater along the rear wall to the wing where I had left the 
two captured guns in charge of a sergeant and detachment. The entrance, a narrow 
passageway, was covered by rebel sharpshooters, and General Hartranft called 
out quickly to me to drop down and crawl in. I and my orderly, Corporal Stanford 
Bigelow, passed through safely. 

"I found Generals Potter, Hartranft, Griffin, and one or two others; General 
Bartlett was in the pit of the Crater, shot through his artificial leg, and unable to 


walk, thus preventing his escape. The rebels were then on all sides, except that 
fronting our lines, and firing into the Crater. Our men still within it were placed 
along the rear and flank crest to keep them back ; several were thus killed, shot 
through the head ; these would fall backward, and if they did not roll to the bot 
tom of the pit, laid with head toward it, so that the blood ran down its sloping walls 
in small rivulets to the bottom, where it formed pools before its absorption by the 
red clay. 

" At this time the pit and its sides were filled with dead and wounded who could 
not escape capture or death. Intense suffering was being caused from want of 
water and surgeons ; and unprotected from the sun, with not a breath of air stirring 
in that hell hole, many must have died under the torture, and later, many more, 
still living, it is believed, were buried therein by the Confederates. If the sight 
was appalling to iron nerves, what must it have been to those inside, awaiting death 
so heroically? 

"Then we turned our gaze to the open field between the lines, over which we 
had advanced at daylight, now strewn with the bodies of hundreds of our dead and 
dying, white and colored, with the hot midday rays of a July sun beating mercilessly 
down upon them, which was still swept by the concentrated cross-fire of the enemy s 
artillery and infantry, over which it seemed impossible for one to pass and escape 
death. After remaining there for some time in the stifling heat amid such scenes 
of carnage and suffering, and realizing that a protracted stay would probably add to 
the already numerous prisoners taken by the enemy, or lengthen our long death 
roll, I decided to make an attempt to reach at the nearest point, our lines, over 
which I could see my own regimental flag floating in the slight sultry breeze, in 
dicating its direction, which was favorable to my plan already quickly formed of 
releasing those general officers and all others not seriously wounded. On inform 
ing them of my decision, they protested, and endeavored to convince me of the 
great danger and almost certain death to go across that field under such a fire. I 
replied that it was sure death or starvation in rebel prisons, to remain, and I pre 
ferred to take the risk then. After watching the explosion of shell and noting the 
point of its striking the ground, I gave word to my orderly that on the explosion of 
the next I would make the start, he to follow a short distance in my rear, so 
we should not be in line, and we could pass beyond that point before another 
explosion and before the range could be changed. The rebels saw us right after the 
start, but passing through showers of bullets we reached, with a bound, the crest of 
our works and sprang from the parapet within, safe and unscathed. I immedi 
ately ordered my men, who had received ammunition and were prepared to hold 
these works, to open a hot fire on the enemy to the right of the Crater, who, ap 
parently expecting another attack, replied vehemently, and very soon the field was 
covered with smoke, through the pall of which every general left in the angle or 
wing escaped in safety to our lines." 


Four months after this battle Captain Charles H. Houghton was assigned to duty 
at Fort Haskell, Va., as commander of the post, the garrison consisting of 350 
men, including several batteries of artillery. About this time printed copies of an 
order of amnesty issued by General Grant, providing that deserters coming into the 
Union lines, bringing their arms and accoutrements, would be paid a specified sum, 
and, on taking the oath not to again take up arms against the United States, would 
be furnished free transportation north, had been freely circulated along the Confed- 
e rate lines. Through the operation of this very order, the Confederate general, 
Gordon, succeeded in entering the Union lines in his night attack on Fort Sted- 
man on the early morning of March 25, 1865 the last general assault by Lee s 
army on the Federal intrenchments. 

General Gordon decided to make his assault from Colquitt s Salient, a point not 
more than 200 yards from the Federal lines, with a force of about 12,000 infantry 
supported by a large cavalry force and with a heavy force in reserve. Shortly 
after three o clock on the morning of the 25th when the darkness was intense, a file 
of 100 picked men advanced from the Confederate lines and, utilizing the tenor of the 
amnesty order, the first man called out : " Don t shoot ; we want to come in." In 
this way the sentinel did not fire and was immediately killed by a noiseless bayonet 
thrust. Aided by the darkness, and followed by detachments to cut away the abatis, 
the force of the enemy grew until, haying the strength of an assaulting column, 
they attacked that part of the unoccupied works to the right and rear of Battery Ten, 
next north of Fort Stedman. Here they were met by a portion of the Fourteenth 
New York Artillery, garrisoning the section of the line which was in position. Cap 
tain Cleary, Lieutenant Thomson and Sergeant Delack hauled one gun to the sally 
port and opened on the assailants, capturing several prisoners and the flag of the 
Twenty-Sixth South Carolina Infantry. Lieutenant E. B. Nye, commanding the 
section of artillery in Battery Ten, was shot down while gallantly defending his 

Commandant Houghton, two days previous to Gordon s assault on Stedman, had 
added 60,000 rounds of ammunition for all arms to his magazine supply, and on the 
eve of the 25th had advised his officers to be ready to resist an attack very early the 
next morning. When asked for his reasons for having such an opinion, he said his 
premonition was strong and unexplainable and that he was advising extraordinary 
precautions, as he felt that they were necessary. 

About three o clock the next morning, Sylvester E. Hough, the last watch on the 
outer post, saw blue lights flashing along the rebel picket pits and heard the sound 
of chopping on the lines. He fired a signal gun, and as a more rapid fire than usual 
was heard along the left front of Fort Stedman the men in Fort Haskell were form 
ing in line and answering the roll call. Captain Houghton hurried to the banquette 
on the right flank of his fort and at once saw that the enemy were on the left flank 
of Stedman, between the two forts. Word came that the Confederates were stealing 
along in the dark toward the front of Fort Haskell, at which the captain ordered his 


men to their positions on the banquette of the front parapet. There, cautioning his 
men to reserve their fire till he gave the command, the garrison stood silently in the 
darkness, with one of Captain Werner s guns loaded with case shot, and trained on 
the opening of the abatis through which the Union pickets passed in and out. 

As Captain Houghton and his men stood there in enforced silence, the Confed 
erate column in double rank reached the abatis and their commanders could be 
heard cautioning the men to move more quietly and steadily, and, " we ll have their 
works steady men, steady." 

" Wait," whispered Captain Houghton, " wait till you can see them ; then fire." 

" Steady, men, steady," again whispered the Confederate leader as the Union 
soldiers waited breathless and with leveled muskets. 

" Fire ! " shouted Captain Houghton, and a terrific volley from cannon and 
muskets, heralded by a single, awful crash, swept along the ranks of the astonished 
band. Surprised, almost demoralized, the enemy fell back a short distance to reform 
and advance again up the slope. As before, they were received with a concerted vol 
ley from cannon and musketry, to once more go reeling to the rear. Then what 
were left quickly divided into small squads and attempted by making simultaneous 
attacks at different points to carry the fort, but most of them were killed for their 

As soon as it was light enough to see that the American flag was still flying over 
Fort Haskell, all the artillery of the Confederate works and the captured guns in 
Fort Stedman and Batteries Eleven and Twelve were turned in a concentrated fire 
on Captain Houghton and his gallant garrison, while the Third New Jersey Bat 
tery, in position at embrazures on the right flank and on parapet, was firing shell 
and case-shot into the enemy. 

The rebels made three furious attacks, but were driven back in confusion each 
time. Up to this time the garrison had been fighting almost alone, but now they 
had been joined by Major Randall and a few who had escaped from Fort Stedman, 
and small detachments from other regiments had come in. However, on the other 
hand, a Union reserve artillery battery near Meade s Station began firing upon Fort 
Haskell, under the mistaken notion that the fort had been captured by the enemy. 
Color-bearer Robert Kiley with colors and a guard was sent out under fire to the 
rear to signal the battery to cease firing. Four of the color-guard were shot down. 

During the second charge by the enemy on his right flank and rear Captain 
Houghton, while standing near his colors on the banquette, had his right leg shat 
tered by a fragment from a shell which exploded at his feet, while other frag 
ments wounded his right hand severely. He was immediately carried to a bomb 
proof facing the parapet, where he lay, watching and directing his men. The pro 
posed capture of Port Haskell resulted in a complete failure. 

Captain Houghton was removed to a field hospital and his leg was amputated at 
the thigh. He recovered and rejoined his regiment at Fort Reno, to be honorably 
discharged several months later. 




Colonel, 30th U. S. Colored Troops. 

Highest rank attained : Bvt. Brig-Gen. 

Born in Schoharie Co., N. Y., in 1840. 

A BOUT two hours after the explosion of the mine, Gen- 
** eral Edward Ferrero, who had expressed the 
opinion that it would be inadvisable to take his division 
of colored troops to the Crater, was peremptorily ordered 
by General Burnside to lead his division at once into 
the "hell s hole." In compliance with this order the 
Thirtieth U. S. Colored Infantry immediately advanced, 
led by its gallant commander, Colonel Delevan Bates. 
The attack is described as follows : 

"Under the range of a score of cannon with a per 
fect maelstrom of rebel lead sweeping the area, the col 
ored men went with a dash against the line of earthworks 
filled with the veterans of many battle-fields. Their 
bravery was of the highest grade and before the charge 
was ended two hundred yards of breastworks, covered 
ways and bomb proofs were captured in a hand-to-hand 

combat and several hundred prisoners with a stand of colors W 7 ere sent to the rear. 
"At this juncture there came orders for another charge on a Confederate battery 
several hundred yards nearer the city of Petersburg. Again the Thirtieth, led by 
its commander, was under way. Subjected to a galling fire from batteries on 
the flanks and from infantry fire in front and partly on the flank, an attempt was 
made to execute the order. Colonel Bates was shot through the head, dangerously, 
but not fatally; Major Leeke was killed ; Captain Seagraves had his leg shattered by a 
bullet but, refusing to surrender, killed and wounded six Confederates, and was found 

with seven deadly wounds on his person. His men 
fought for his body like tigers, but without success, 
several of them being found dead by his side. The 
color-guards were annihilated, one after another seizing 
the flag as their comrades fell dead and, finally broken 
up and in disorder, the rest fell back to the line from 
whence they started. 

"After Colonel Bates was wounded and Major Leeke 
killed, Adjutant Andrew Davidson, assisted by the re 
maining company officers, made a most heroic effort to 
rally the broken ranks of his regiment from the desper 
ate countercharge of the enemy and was the last officer 
to abandon the recaptured position and fall back to the 
Union line." 


Adjutant, 80th U. S. Colored Troops. 

Highest rank attained : Captain. 

Born in Scotland in 1840. 


Eight company officers were killed or wounded and two were taken prisoners; 
while 212 enlisted men of the regiment were killed or wounded. This was the 
record of a body of troops never under heavy fire before, a regiment of heroes, led by 
officers who know no fear. 



Captain, Co. G, 43d U. S. Colored Inf. 

Born in Elkland, T:oga Co., Pa., 

Dec. 10, 1844. 

A NOTHER body of colored troops, the Forty-third U. S. 
* Colored Infantry, distinguished itself at the Mine, 
and one of their officers, Captain Albert D. Wright, of 
Company G, earned his Medal of Honor on that mem 
orable occasion, which he himself recalls as follows : 

"At the time of the explosion, our brigade was strung 
out in the covered way leading to the fort, with the 
Forty-third Regiment in advance. As our troops crossed 
the space between our lines and the Confederates , at 
this point not more than one hundred yards apart, they 
were exposed to a scattering fire of musketry, and 
instead of continuing through the Crater directly to 
Petersburg, as planned, huddled into the Crater and 
stopped, while the Confederates fled from the breast 
works, expecting other explosions. When the rebels found that none followed, and 
their lines were not occupied, except in the Crater, they rallied, and, manning their 
guns, began a horrible slaughter of our men, by dropping shells into the Crater from 
every battery within reach, and from a number of little Cohorn mortars in the 

"Not quite an hour had passed when we were hurried to the ravine immediately 
behind our works, massed and ordered to perform the same manoeuvre that the 
white troops preceding us had been ordered to execute. The narrow space between 
the lines was almost taken up by a line of abatis and one of chevaux-de-frise, in 
front of and on each side of the breastworks. These lines were impassable, unless 
the wires binding them together could be cut and the heavy timbers and tree-tops 
removed, an operation impossible to perform in the face of a line of such men as we 
had to meet. The break in our line was wide enough only for four men to pass out 
abreast, while the break in the Confederate lines was only where the abatis and 
chevaux-de-frise had been covered with earth from the explosion ; consequently we 
were obliged to cross in column by fours, as if we were. marching along a road. 

" The balance of the regiment could not remain exposed to the awful fire which 
enfiladed them on both sides and for some reason they filed to the right and went 


between the Confederate lines and ours. In a very few moments I saw we were 
simply being slaughtered without a chance of defense and, seeing a little path 
through the Confederate lines of abatis and chevaux-de-frise, I crawled through to 
the Confederate breastworks, lay down on the outside and began firing my pistol 
alongside of every gun I could reach, as they moved them over to fire at our men. 
The momentary sight I got of our fellows, bravely trying to rally, drove me frantic. 
Six of my company had followed me through the little path, and turning to -them I 
said: We cannot go back; they will kill us! If we lie here they will capture us, 
and they say they will take no nigger prisoners or white officers with them. Let s 
jump in. 

"They replied: All right, Cap n. I told them to fix bayonets, gave the word, 
and in we went. 

"It was a surprise. We were stronger just there than they were. The colored 
men killed everyone w r ithin reach, instantly. This created a panic, and, thinking of 
our poor fellows in the field, we turned to the right, the men yelling like fiends and 
bayoneting everyone they could reach. We simply cleaned out the breastworks for 
the whole length of our regiment, the Confederates evidently mistaking our rush 
for a charge by the troop they knew to be in the Crater. 

" While rushing down the breastwork, I saw a flag sticking out of a hole behind 
the works. Springing on top of the earth around the hole, and, pointing my empty 
revolver down, I drove out the color-sergeant and guard of six men, took the flag 
and sent it across to our line. This occupied only a moment, after which we con 
tinued driving the enemy out of the works until we came to an angle around the 
head of the ravine, the line on the opposite side of the ravine continuing straight 
with the line we had cleared out. There it was that the enemy could see how small 
our force was, and they at once opened fire on us. From where we were I could see 
into Petersburg, there being no other works or men between ourselves and that city. 

" While throwing sand-bags across the rifle pit to protect ourselves from fire, I 
was wounded in the arm and went back to the hospital, and on my way back I had 
the satisfaction of seeing what was left of our regiment crawling through the abatis 
and coming into the rifle pits in safety." 





Private, Troop H, 13th Ohio Cavalry. 
Born at Urbana, Ohio, July 5, 1849. 

MERE BOY, Nathaniel McL. Gwynne, applied for en 
listment at Cincinnati in the spring of 1864. 
The recruiting officer looked at the 15-year-old, shook 
his head and said : " You had better stay at home, my 
boy ; you re too young." He was not disheartened by 
this refusal, but went to several officers, then about to 
take the field, begging for permission to go along. One 
officer, a captain of Company H, Thirteenth Ohio Cav 
alry, was so favorably impressed with the boy s desire to 
serve his country that he permitted him to accompany 
his command, and from that time on young Gwynne 
regularly performed the duties of a private, participat 
ing in all the engagements of the regiment, including 
the one at Petersburg July 30. 

When the regiment was about to make a charge on a battery holding a com 
manding position on Fort Hill, the captain noticed young Gwynne in line, and said 
to him : "Young man, remember you are not mustered in. You had better stay 

" But that s not what I m here for ! " responded the boy. 

Just then the bugler sounded the charge, and away went the troop, young 
Gwynne with it, across a ravine, up the hill, straight to the mouths of the cannon, 
where a hand-to-hand fight ensued, in which the color-sergeant of the Thirteenth 
was shot down and the colors captured. The enemy were the stronger ; the attack 
failed. The colors captured, a retreat followed. 

Half the distance over which the charge had been made was covered in the re 
treat when a horse wheeled out of line, his head toward the enemy, and charged 
directly toward the battery. It was young Gwynne s horse. Those who saw the 
dash at first wondered whether he had lost control of his horse ; then, whether his 
reason had deserted him, for he was guiding his horse with a firm hand. On he 
went, heedless of the shower of bullets from the infantry, supporting the battery, 
riding into the midst of it, and directly to the point where his regimental colors 
were held, all the time urging his horse to its utmost speed. Reaching the colors, 
he seized them from their captor, and, turning his horse s head, started back to his 
regiment. Immediately every gun of the enemy was trained on him. He had not 

Fort Hill, or "Hell," as it was familiarly known to the Union soldiers, was one of the numerous 
fortifications in front of Petersburg, where some of the fiercest fighting took place on the 30th of July, after 
the mine explosion. 



gone far, however, before the arm supporting the flag was shot away, almost tear 
ing it from its socket, and the flag went down. He stopped his horse, took the reins 
in his teeth, picked up the flag and dashed away toward his regiment. Again he 
was shot, this time in the leg, but pluckily he rode on until he reached his comrades, 
whereupon he turned the flag over to them, and fell unconscious to the ground. 

As a reward for his bravery, Gwynne was placed on the muster-roll of the Thir 
teenth Ohio Cavalry, his muster-in to date from the time of his application for 



Captain, Co. C, 14th Perm. Cavalry. 

Born at Coleraine. Ireland, 

April 24, 1843. 

IN the extreme eastern part of West Virginia lies the 
* little town of Moorefield. Here in the evening of 
August 6, 1864, the Confederate general, McCauseland. 
was resting his division, which was on its way back from 
Maryland after the burning of the village of Chambers- 
burg, and consisted of McCauseland s Brigade, Gen 
eral Bradley Johnson s Brigade of Cavalry, Gilmor s 
Mounted Battalion and the Baltimore Battery in all, 
about 3,200 men. 

At dark on the same day General William W. Averell 
arrived with about 1,700 men of his division after a weary pursuit of 150 miles. This 
division had been engaged since the spring of the year in long and toilsome expedi 
tions twice to the Tennessee River and to Lynchburg, participating in many combats 
and skirmishes, so that it was in poor condition for active movements, either on the 
march or in battle. At the same time it was absolutely essential to a successful 
attack upon the Confederates that they should be surprised and fought with the ut 
most energy. Vigilant scouts guarded the front of Averell s force, preventing any 
intelligence of its coming from reaching the enemy, and at the same time ascertain 
ing McCauseland s position. 

General Averell, learning that General McCauseland was retreating toward Moorefield, W. Va., pursued 
and overtook him at Oldfields, three miles east of Moorefield, on the 7th of August, 1864, effecting a com 
plete surprise, routing and dispersing the whole command and capturing 420 prisoners, four guns, large 
quantities of small arms and 400 horses and equipments. The Federals lost twenty-eight in killed and 
wounded ; the enemy s loss is unknown. After the engagement the enemy retreated by different roads 
into the Shenandoah Valley, and General Averell returned to New Creek with his prisoners and captured 
property, from which point he received orders to report to General Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley, 
near Harper s Ferry. 


McCauseland s Brigade with Gilmor s Battalion and two guns of the battery 
were encamped on the right bank of the Potomac, next to Moorefield, while a mile 
away Johnson s Brigade and two guns w r ere encamped on the north side of the 
stream. After dark Averell sent 160 men by a mountain road around the east of 
Moorefield to blockade the highway and prevent the escape of the enemy toward 
Winchester fifty miles away to rejoin Early. Accompanied by Captain Thomas 
R. Kerr and a few chosen men, Averell proceeded on foot in the darkness, which was 
deepened by a fog, and captured the enemy s mounted videttes, from whom was 
learned the position of a Confederate picket and fifteen men under Lieutenant Carter. 
Captain Kerr with fifteen mounted men made a wide detour, striking a road beyond 
the picket. While returning toward them he was challenged and, answering 
" Relief," he drew near, dismounted and in a minute had the picket disarmed and 
under guard. Then General Averell sent Captain Kerr and his detachment to cap 
ture and bring back into the Union line a picket that was expected to arrive soon. 
About a mile away the captain was again challenged and replied : " Picket coming 
in." After which he and his party at once surrounded the enemy s picket and com 
pelled its surrender. The officer in charge, however, broke away in an effort to 
escape, but Captain Kerr sprang after him and quickly subdued him with his sabre. 
Thus the road to Moorefield was clear and not a shot had been fired. 

When the head of General Averell s column had reached a point within 500 yards 
of the enemy, it was not yet light enough to see clearly ten yards. Two Confed 
erate troopers sent to recall patrol and pickets met General Averell in the road and 
informed him that their brigade was saddled and ready to move. Quickly placing 
one column in the road and one in the fields on each side, all following a line de 
ployed in sets of fours, General Averell placed Captain Kerr with his company in 
advance of the center column. Only one squadron could be left in the rear to guard 
the prisoners. He then gave orders to ride over Johnson s Brigade, using only the 
sabre, and to continue steadily on to the river, break through it and capture General 
McCauseland himself. 

The first part of the plan was executed, but the one squadron left behind could 
not hold all the prisoners taken from Johnson s Brigade, so that a large number of 
them escaped through the cornfields to the hills. There being but one ford at the 
river a slight delay ensued, giving the enemy a little time to form on the opposite 

Captain Kerr and his company were at once across, however, closely followed by 
the other troops. The early morning light was not yet clear enough to distinguish 
individuals more than 100 yards distant so that Captain Kerr, challenged by the first 
troops he met, promptly answered : " Gilmor s Battalion ; " but as that particu 
lar body happened to be the challenging party, a hot fire was opened on Kerr s 
Company as it charged. A bullet struck Captain Kerr in the face, another wounded 
him in the thigh ; his horse was killed and fell on him, but his men went on. 


The captain extricated himself from the fallen horse, ran to the color-bearer of 
the Eighth Virginia Confederate Regiment, who was striving to get to horse, struck 
down the man, took his colors and horse, mounted and rejoined his company through 
the fleeing remnants of the enemy. 

The sun was just up when all was over ; more than 150 of the enemy were killed 
and wounded. Three stands of colors, the battery, nearly 500 officers and men with 
nearly 1,000 horses and small arms were captured, and the enemy were dispersed to 
the mountains. 


r the morning of August 18, 1864, at 
the Weldon Railroad, Private Joseph 
Taylor, of Company E, Seventh Rhode Isl 
and Infantry, was detached from his company 
on detail as mounted orderly at brigade head 
quarters and ordered to escort Adjutant-Gen 
eral Peleg E. Peckham through some near-by 

"The day was very hot and the country had 
been fairly flooded by rains," Private Taylor 
narrates. " We were riding quite rapidly and 
when we reached the woods I found them so 
dense and so filled w r ith underbrush that it 
was with great difficulty I followed the general. 
Every now and then the limbs and branches 
of the brush pushed aside by my leader would 

spring back, striking my horse in the face so that I could not make it keep its gait. 
Thus, not being able to keep up with the general, I undertook to skirt the edge 
of the wood. In a short while I lost sight of him, but, believing that I would soon 
see him again, continued on, as I thought I could hear his horse going. 

" Suddenly, to my entire surprise, I ran against a Confederate picket post of three 
infantrymen, who appeared to be as greatly surprised as myself. Immediately draw 
ing my revolver, I commanded them to surrender and get out to the rear as quickly 
as possible, as a cavalry charge was to be made right over the ground where we were 

" I did not know whether there was any cavalry within ten miles, but the thought 
came to me and I simply said it. 


Private, Co. E, 7th R. I. Inf. 
Born at Pascoag, R. I., Feb. 6, 1817. 


"The three men had 
stacked arms, which 
I ordered them to 
carry, when I felt 
a sharp pain, caused 
by a fourth Confed 
erate, whom I had 
overlooked, lunging 
his bayonet through 
my right arm. I 
at once emptied 
a chamber of my 
revolver into his 
left breast and he 
dropped. Knowing 
that my shot would 
give an alarm, I 
ordered my three 
prisoners forward, 
and, revolver in 
hand, at their rear, 
I rode rapidly to 
ward our line. 
"As I reached head 
quarters with my cap 
tives, General Curtin asked 
with much surprise where I 
captured these men. Up in 

the brush, general, I answered. Where is General Peckham ? asked the general, 
and I replied : I don t know, general ; I lost him in the brush. 

"Just then Doctor Blackwood, of our staff, came up and asked: What s the 
matter with your arm, Joe ? Nothing, except it feels a little warm. Then I saw 
that the blood of the bayonet wound had run to my hand and over my revolver, 
which I was still holding. Just then General Peckham rode up to us and, being 
questioned by General Curtin as to where I had captured the rebels, he said : I do 
not know while riding through the brush with Taylor following me, as I supposed, 
I suddenly missed him. Two or three minutes later I heard a shot to my left and 
rear, and, thinking that by getting too far out of the woods Taylor had been hurt, I 
immediately returned to see about the matter. 

"General Curtin ordered the prisoners disarmed and said to me: Well done 
Taylor, you will get a Medal of Honor for this. " 




T NCLUDED in the operations against Petersburg was General Grant s effort to cut off 
* the line of supplies for the Confederates by destroying the Weldon Railroad. 
General Warren, to whom this task was entrusted, was twice fiercely assaulted by 
General Lee s army, but succeeded in holding his position and carrying his mission 
to complete success. During one of the attacks an incident occurred of which 
Private Soloman J. Hottenstein, of Company C, One hundred and seventh Pennsyl 
vania Infantry, became the hero. 

The Union corps had, on August 18, 1864, made a descent on the Weldon Rail 
road at Yellow House, driving in the Confederate pickets. When, however, the enemy 
appeared in force, the One hundred and seventh Pennsylvania was thrown out and 
deployed as skirmishers to meet them. Then the fighting became general and very 
intense, and so continued until darkness had set in. Still the Federals held the 
road and, under cover of night, threw up breastworks. 

At 2 P. M. the following day another attack was 
made, with partial success, and again, two hours later, 
the enemy made still another attack, flanking General 
Crawford s Division, taking many prisoners and com 
pelling the Union forces to retreat. In this series of 
alternating charges and countercharges, attacks and 
retreats, the two forces became badly intermingled, and 
at times the mix-up was so bad that it would have 
been a difficult matter to discern the men of the two 

hostile armies. At one time, however, a large body SYLVESTER H. MARTIN, 

of Confederates had part of the One hundred and infantry. 

Highest rank attained : Captain. 

seventh Pennsylvania surrounded and virtually cap- Bom in Chester co.,pa., Aug. O.IMI. 
tured. Still considerable confusion reigned, especially 

in the ranks of the Confederates, who at this particular point seemed to lack the 
hand of a leader, who could bring order out of the chaos and take advantage of the 
predicament of the Union men. On the other hand there was one soldier among 
the surrounded Federals who proved to be fully equal to the emergency he was 
Private Soloman Hottenstein. He recognized that he was in a locality which he 
had passed and became thoroughly familiar with the day before while foraging. 
Utilizing this very opportune knowledge, he decided to resort to a ruse, which was as 
clever as it was desperate, to extricate himself and his comrades from their pre 
carious position. Espying a Confederate color-bearer, he ran up to him and said : 
"Give me that flag!" 

The rebel complied. 

Then waving the Confederate colors aloft, he shouted : " Come on boys ; follow 
me ! " And for the Union lines he headed followed by his comrades and several 


hundred Confederates, who fairly fell over each other in their effort to fall into line 
and follow their flag. Bewildered by the general confusion, the hail of shot and 
shell from all directions, misled by the very boldness of Private Hottenstein s move, 
they marched right into the arms of the Federal troops, realizing their fatal mistake 
when it was too late and when they could do nothing but submit to capture. 

During the same engagements the Eighty-eighth Pennsylvania and Ninety- 
seventh New York Infantry regiments found themselves in the same position as the 
one from which Private Hottenstein and comrades escaped. 

" We were," says Lieutenant Sylvester H. Martin, of Company K, Eighty-eighth 
Pennsylvania Infantry, " between two lines of the enemy and entirely isolated from 
our corps, and after a consultation among the officers of both regiments, the col 
onel of the ninety-seventh being in command, decided that we should fight our way 
out. Having accomplished this, we reached our rear in an open field, but were 
immediately ordered to re-advance and recover our former position. 

"The missiles were now coming from our front. Men were falling fast ; among 
them was the commander of our regiment, pierced through the face. The colonel 
in command of the two regiments then called for an officer to take in a skirmish 
line, and send word back to him whether it would be safe to advance the line. 

" I moved forward with men of my company as skirmishers, reconnoitered the 
position and made it possible to re-establish the line, which we held during the re 
mainder of that action." 


thrilling adventures of two of General Sheridan s 
scouts form an interesting chapter of the episodes 
of the War of the Rebellion. One of the scouts was Joseph 
E. McCabe, a sergeant in the Seventeenth Pennsylvania 
Cavalry ; the other, Archibald H. Rowand, a private in 
Company K, First West Virginia Cavalry, the former 
being the general s chief scout. 

Among the many achievements of these two men, the 
capture of the Confederate general, Harry Gilmor, and 
staff was the most brilliant and consequential. The oc 
currence dates at the time when General Sheridan had 
his headquarters at Winchester during the winter of 1864. 
It was Rowand who first got onto the trail of the Confed 
erate general, who in a mansion near Moorefield, W. Va., was nursing his wounds 
received at the battle of Winchester. He imparted his information to General Sheri 
dan, who at once formulated plans for the capture of the wounded commander. The 


Sergeant, 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry. 
Born at Bridge-water, Pa.. June 6, 1841. 


task was entrusted to McCabe, chief scout, Major Henry H. Young with a detachment 
of thirty cavalrymen, and Rowand, who acted as guide. After a ride of forty 
miles the party all dressed as Confederates reached the general s place of abode 
at daybreak. Approaching the house cautiously, Rowand went ahead, overpowered 
the sentinel and made him prisoner. McCabe and Major Young followed and de 
manded the surrender of the general and his staff. Resistance being out of question 
the order was readily complied with, and thus the two daring scouts were able to 
report the complete success of their mission to General Sheridan and turn over to 
him the Confederate commander. 

McCabe was the leading scout in still another important capture that of Gen 
eral Rufus Barringer. 

It was on the morning of April 6, 1865, when McCabe and five companions, all 
attired in Confederate uniforms, were riding along on their way to Danville, Va. 
Presently they met a group of four Confederates, whom they halted and engaged in 
conversation. The Confederates said they belonged to a North Carolina brigade, 
and McCabe and his comrades pretended to be men of the Ninth Virginia. They 
rode along together till they were joined by a Confederate officer of apparent high 
rank. He revealed himself during the course of the conversation as General Bar- 
ringer. McCabe drew from the unwary rebels much valuable information, when, 
without any previous warning, he presently informed the general and his men of his 
identity and demanded their surrender. His determined attitude completely non 
plused the Confederates, who were too greatly surprised to make even a show of 
resistance. Only one rebel escaped. For this clever capture of General Barringer 
McCabe was awarded the Medal of Honor 

Rowand s other great feat was the delivery of a message from General Sheridan 
to General Grant in 1865. 

Sheridan had been ordered to pass around to the west of Richmond and effect a 
junction with Sherman in North Carolina, but owing to heavy rains and swollen 
streams he had been delayed until the Confederates had time to throw a heavy force 
in his front and prevent his advance, a fact of which it was important that Grant 
should l)e notified. Rowand and his comrade, James A. Campbell, volunteered to 
deliver the message, and shortly thereafter, dressed as Confederates, they each re 
ceived a copy of the message written on tissue paper and tightly rolled in the form 
of a small pellet inclosed in tin foil. Their orders were to deliver the message, but 
in case of capture to swallow the pellets before giving them up to the enemy. 

The journey began on horseback and for forty-eight hours they were in the 
saddle, during which time they entered the Confederate lines and were within 
eight miles of Richmond. They met and conversed with a chief of Confederate 
scouts and were within five miles of the James River when some of the scouts of 
the enemy recognized them and gave chase. Rowand and Campbell put the spurs 
to their horses and reached the river ahead of their pursuers. Here they abandoned 
the horses and plunging into the river seized a floating skiff and with their hands 


paddled so rapidly, going diagonally with the cur 
rent, that they reached the opposite shore just as the 
enemy reached the south bank. The fugitives were 
ordered to halt and shots were sent after them, but it 
only stimulated McCabe and his comrade to greater 
exertions. And so, with the enemy coming behind, 
the two made a run, afoot, of about ten miles, when 
they reached the Union lines. 

The lieutenant in charge of the picket refused to 
accept their statement that they were messengers 
from Sheridan and was inclined to treat them as 
spies. Finally, however, he consented to take his 
prisoners to the Colonel, who at once forwarded them, 
under escort, to Grant s headquarters. While sitting 
at Grant s desk waiting for the general to appear, 
they both fell asleep the first time in over two days. 

Grant coming in, awakened Eowand by tapping him on the shoulder, and after re 
ceiving and reading the dispatches ordered that every attention be paid to the two 
young soldiers. 



Private, Co. K, 1st W. Va. Cavalry. 
Born in Allegheny City, Pa., March 6, 1845. 

WHEN on the 30th of July, 1864, the Confederate works at Petersburg were con 
verted by the explosion of Lieutenant-Colonel Pleasants mine into the hor 
rible "Crater," Company H, of the Second New York Mounted Rifles, dismounted, 
was posted about 100 feet away from the enemy s works and with the crash and 
tumult of the explosion they received the order to charge with the remainder of 
the brigade across a small rise of ground and take position at the first line of the 
Confederate defenses. Second Lieutenant Harlan J. Swift, of Company H, a medal 
winner in this affair, relates : 

"Of course it was hot work, but was in no way a surprise, because our entire line 
had been waiting long for just such an experience. We reached the objective point 
in short order, to see the enemy going pell-mell toward their second line of defense, 
a considerable distance away on the Jerusalem plank road. As we reached the top 
of the first line I could see several Confederates not far off, and, calling my company 
to halt, I sprinted on after the fugitives. I was very good on my feet and soon 
overhauled four of the men who, with guns loaded and bayonets fixed, had given me 
such a stubborn chase. 

" Placing the muzzle of my revolver against the temple of one of the Johnnies 
while still running, I ordered the four to surrender, which they did instantly, fancy 
ing, I suppose, that 1 had my whole company at my back. Then I formed them on 
either side and in front of me as a protection against possible shots from their 
more speedy companions and so marched them back to our line." 




Assistant Surgeon, U. S. Army. 
Born at Oswego, N. Y. 

DOCTOR MARY E. WALKER is the only woman up to 
the present time who ever received the Medal 
of Honor. She was one of the very few women who 
at that time held a diploma from a medical college, 
and five years prior to the war had a general medical 
and surgical practice in Oswego, New York, her native 
city. When the war broke out, and with that self- 
reliance which is one of her strongest characteristics. 
Dr. Walker traveled alone to Washington, and at the 
War Department tendered her services as a physician 
and surgeon. There was nothing to prohibit such 
service and Dr. Walker, young, vigorous, unconven 
tionally masculine in attire and demeanor, was 
accordingly appointed assistant surgeon without pay. 
After a time she was made assistant surgeon in the 
regular army, which carried with it the rank of first 
lieutenant. She was detailed for duty with Sher 
man s armies and, possessed of a strong constitution, 

a stern will and good knowledge of her profession, her services were invaluable on 
the march, in the field and in the hospital particularly in the latter, where her 
executive ability proved of great advantage. While the division to which she was 
attached was operating around Gordon s Mills in the effort to flank Joseph E. 
Johnston s army, an epidemic of sickness prevailed among the people of that vicin 
ity, who had no doctors, all the local physicians being with the Confederate armies. 
Accordingly an appeal for medical aid was made to the Union forces, and Dr. Walker 
volunteered her services. 

The country was overrun with Wheeler s cavalry, while Champ Furgeson s 
infamous bushwhackers were a terror to both armies alike. Dr. Walker began mak 
ing her visits to the afflicted people, accompanied by an armed escort of two officers 
and two orderlies; the doctor herself carrying revolvers in her holsters. Eventually, 
however, and in spite of repeated narrow escapes, she dispensed with her escort and 
arms and rode alone to her patients. Champ Furgeson had often declared that he 
would kill every "blue-coat" he captured, so the Union men understood that no 
quarter would be given by him. 

One day in April, 1864, Dr. Walker was riding her horse alone and unarmed, on 
her way to see patients at Gordon s Mills. As she turned at a bend in the road, she 
suddenly found herself confronted by a group of mounted men wearing nondescript 
uniforms of gray, butternut and blue, and was told to surrender. Looking squarely 
into the eyes of the man who gave the order, she replied : " Certainly sir, as I am 
unarmed ; but will you kindly escort me to the bedside of a dying woman, whom I 
am going as a physician to attend?" 


The chief captor seemed puzzled by his prisoner s voice and sangfroid, and, after 
scanning her face and figure closely for an instant, said : " Oh, you re the doctor takin 
care of the folks over yon way. All right, pass on." Retaining her nerve entirely, 
Dr. Walker thanked the man and went her way unmolested. Upon her return to 
the Union camp she reported the episode to her brother officers and Colonel Dan 
McCook suggested that she had been "held up" by Champ Furgeson. The other 


officers declared that impossible, because she had lived to tell 
the story. Later on in the war Dr. Walker was captured and 

was held prisoner at Castle Thunder, Richmond, for four months. Then she was 
exchanged for Dr. Lightfoot of Tennessee. It was not until after all this experience 
that she was shown a portrait of Champ Furgeson and at once recognized the 
features of the man who had been her captor for a few moments. 




Captain, Co. K,9th N. J. Infantry. 
Highest rank attained : Bvt-Brig- 

General, N. J. Vols. 
Born in Washington Valley, N. J., 
in 1837. 

^^ New Jersey Infantry, had the honor of being the 
first man to unfurl the Union flag on the Confederate 
soil, and was the first to enter the enemy s works at 
Newbern, North Carolina. He commanded the Union 
advance from Bermuda to Point of Rocks, Virginia, May 
6, 1864, and at Drewry s Bluff, May 16th, drove the enemy 
within his works. It was at this last engagement that 
he was taken prisoner. The story of his escape from 
captivity reads like a romance : 

" I passed a fortnight in Libby Prison," Captain Drake 
says, "and was transferred to Macon and then to Savan 
nah. I was constantly devising plans for regaining my 

liberty, and with other prisoners spent weeks of toil in constructing tunnels for 
escape. Though frequently baffled by treachery in promising enterprises for re 
gaining freedom, I never ceased to cherish the hope of escape. The prospect was 
gloomy indeed. Confined in fetid strongholds, and surrounded by sleepless sentinels, 
the boldest at times were ready to despair. But even the horrors of the Charleston 
jail-yard did not discourage me from seeking a favorable means of escape. Our life 
in Charleston was not by any means without incident and excitement. Only the 
day after our arrival at the jail-yard shells from our batteries on Morris Island 
fired a dozen buildings near the jail, entirely destroying them. Frequently we were 
in danger from fragments of exploding shells from the Union batteries on the 
harbor islands. 

" The Confederacy was now in danger of an overwhelming disaster. Sherman 
was prepared to pursue his triumphant march from the mountains to the sea, and 
desperate measures were adopted by the Southerners. Among other precautions 
taken was the transfer of several hundred Union captive officers to Columbia, where 
it was believed they could be securely guarded. The proposed change was hailed as 
an excellent opportunity for escape, and four of us, Captain Harry H. Todd, Eighth 
New Jersey Volunteers, Captain J. E. Lewis, Eleventh Connecticut Volunteers, Cap 
tain Albert Grant, Nineteenth Wisconsin Volunteers, and myself, resolved to take 
our lives in our hands and leap from the train. 

" The train reached the southern end of the long, rickety bridge over the Con- 
garee River shortly before dark. During the afternoon I had succeeded in removing 
the percussion caps from the rifles held by the sergeant and six privates who 
guarded our car, and as the box-car in which we were riding crossed the bridge 


my three chosen comrades and I leaped from the rapidly moving train. Fortunately 
none of us was injured. 

" The train came to a stop a mile or so away, and men and dogs started after us. 
We sought refuge in a heavy cypress swamp, in order to baffle the bloodhounds 
which were on our trail within an hour. We remained in the swamp all through 
that dreary, rainy night and next day. At sunset we started on our way, and for 
days wandered on through the woods, living on corn from the fields, berries and 
grapes. We were w r eak and faint from hunger and exhaustion. Our only solace 
was the kindness of some darkies whom we came upon one day working in the 
fields, and who provided us with food and shelter in their cabins, treating us as 
their friends and benefactors. 

" Crossing the Catawba River, we ran across some deserters from the Confederate 
Army, men who, impressed or driven into service, had escaped, and now defied the 
whole power of the Confederate Government. In Caldwell County we met hundreds 
of this class of persons. They were associated with another class called lyers out, 
who had long lived in caves and other retreats on the mountain, resisting the con 
scription. Although but poorly armed with old Kentucky rifles and squirrel guns, 
they managed to keep at bay all forces sent against them. 

" We lived with these men in their caves for several days, and persuaded a hun 
dred or more to accompany us to Knoxville, Tenn., the nearest point to the Union 
lines, promising to use our influence in procuring them arms, ammunition, cloth 
ing, etc. 

"We had a narrow escape from guerrillas at Crab Orchard, Tenn., and evaded 
them only by making a wide detour to Bull Gap, at the foot of the beautiful Cum 
berland Valley. The rebels, Keith and Palmer, with their bands of irregulars, got 
upon our trail on Higgins Ridge, and came within an ace of gobbling us as we were 
climbing Big Butt Mountain, from the summit of which we beheld the valley, the 
promised land. Only fifteen miles from the foot of this hill, said my friend Bill 
Estes, a refugee from North Carolina, and we shall be safe. That exclamation 
urged me to renewed vigor. 

" I had almost given up hope of reaching our lines, my feet being in terrible con 
dition. Suddenly the unmistakable roaring of artillery and musketry in the valley 
halted the whole party, and looking toward the gap we saw the smoke rising from 
a battle in progress. The fight came to a sudden termination at nightfall, and we 
ascertained that Breckenridge had defeated General Gillem at Blue Lick Springs, 
the Union men being in full retreat upon Knoxville. Just at this moment a moun 
taineer, breathless with excitement, came up, declaring that the guerrillas were hot 
on our trail. We lost no time in seeking cover in a ravine between two mountains, 
where, we flattered ourselves, there would be comparative safety. Captains Todd 
and Grant, with a mountaineer, went down to a hamlet to obtain rations and to 
procure for me a pair of shoes, or some covering for my feet, for I was suffering 


" During their absence we were surprised by a furious attack of guerrillas. Our 
camp was thrown into a state of violent confusion. For a moment my senses were 
bewildered, but whizzing bullets and demoniac yells speedily brought me to a real 
izing sense of the situation. In the darkness I could see nothing but the lurid 
flashes from the firearms of the guerrillas, who, having at last caught us napping, 
were now carrying on their awful work, firing and slashing wildly as they rode in 
upon us. 

" I started running, some 
times falling on the frost-cover 
ed ground, intent only on wid 
ening the distance between my 
self and the enemy, from whom, 
if recaptured, I well knew 1 
could expect no favors. On I 
went, my movements being of 
course greatly accelerated by 
the whizzing of bullets over 
my head. Faint and al 
most exhausted, and ap 
parently out of im 
mediate danger, I sat 
down to extricate a 
piece of stick which 
had been forced into 
the fleshy part of my 

I sat there con 
templating my condi 
tion and the manifold 
dangers which surrounded 
me, until daylight. I had 
no money, no knife or other 
weapon, no blanket, no utensil 
in which to cook, nothing to eat, 
I did not know in which direction 
to turn, and was ignorant of the fate 
and whereabouts of my companions. 

"I was on the brink of despair when I 

heard sounds of an approaching party, and soon I recognized Major Davis, of Kirk s 
Third North Carolina Infantry, Captain Lewis and a score of others. Grant and 
Todd were missing, neither having been seen or heard from since they departed to 



search for food. I was affectionately greeted, having been given up for dead. We 
hastened away, keeping under the shadows of the mountains. We managed to 
make between twenty and thirty miles a day, and in less than a week were safe 
within the Union lines at Knoxville, about seven weeks after our escape from 



Captain and A. A. Gen. Volunteers. 

Highest rank attained: Brigadier-General. 

Born at Oldtown, IVnobscot Co., Me., 

Dec. 27, 1843. 

TT was late in August, 1864, that General Sherman 
1 began a grand wheel of his armies with Schofield s 
force at the pivot, and Howard s Corps on the out 
side making a radius of twenty-five miles and aiming at 
Jonesboro, while General Thomas and his army moved 
between the two. The object was to seize both southern 
railways leading out from Atlanta and to destroy all 
stations, bridges, culverts, rails and ties, thus forcing 
Hood out of Atlanta. Preceded by Kilpatrick, who 
was handling the irrepressible annoyance from Wheel 
er s Cavalry, General Howard was moving with reason 
able speed, and on the 30th of August his forces had 
been fighting all day as they advanced. At the same time Kilpatrick s Cavalry had 
also been kept busy. 

At the request of General Kilpatrick his chief of staff and adjutant-general, Cap 
tain Llewellyn G. Estes, had taken command of the advance brigade of cavalry with 
instructions to keep well up with the skirmish line of the infantry and to protect 
their right flank. At about five o clock in the afternoon of the 30th they had 
reached a point about four miles from Flint River, where General Howard had been 
ordered to camp for the night. Captain Estes halted his cavalry brigade and was 
waiting for the movement of the infantry on his left when one of General Howard s 
aides appeared and said that the general wished to see him. Accordingly the cap 
tain rode over and met General Howard, who remarked: "Estes, I am directed by 
General Sherman to halt my army here for the night. There is no water here for 
my troops, the enemy is harassing me all the time and I want to know if you can 
drive them across the Flint River." Captain Estes replied that he could do it and 
the general said : "Try it." 

Thereupon Captain Estes rode rapidly back to the head of his command and with 
the Ninety-Sixth Illinois Cavalry charged the barricade of the enemy, rode over 
and through them before they had time to form again and pushed on to Flint River 


at a gallop. So surprised were the Confederates that they simply scattered in every 
direction, some six or eight of their companies racing along in front of the Federals 
down to and across the river. Within an hour from the talk with General Howard 
Captain Estes had forced the enemy across the river, and, General Howard following 
immediately behind Estes, came up and complimented him very highly for the 
work performed. 


Then Captain Estes asked : " Do you 
want me to take the bridge ? " The gen 
eral responded: "Can you do it?" And 
when the young cavalry leader said "Yes" 
the general replied : " All right, go ahead." 

Estes hurriedly dismounted the Ninety- 
second Illinois and the Tenth Ohio, which General 

Kilpatrick had promptly sent forward at his request, and moved down the bank of 
the river, where these two regiments, armed with Spencer carbines, kept up such a 
constant fire on the enemy s barricades on the opposite side of the river that Estes 
was enabled with two companies of the Tenth Ohio Cavalry to charge across the 
bridge on the stringers, the planking having been removed by the enemy, and drive 


the Confederates back. At the time of this charge the bridge was burning in 
several places, but Estes, armed with a revolver, went ahead with a rush, brim 
ful of confidence in the men at his back, as they were enthused by the valor and 
dash of their leader. After driving the foe from the river Estes and his men re 
placed the planking, thus enabling Howard s Army to cross. It was a triumph 
belonging jointly to the commander and his men, and probably the most pleased 
man in the whole of Sherman s Army that evening was General 0. 0. Howard, to 
realize that so much had been accomplished in so short a time with a loss of but 
six men ; four killed and two wounded. 

The Union force was then within one mile of Jonesboro, through which the rail 
road passed on the line between Atlanta and Macon. It was a position with abun 
dant water at hand and one which the general had not expected to reach except by 
virtue of a great battle involving an entire corps and at a great loss of life. In re 
ferring to Captain Estes deed General Howard gave official expression in the follow 
ing : 

"* * * All the circumstances surrounding tms action made it striking and im 
pressive ; the necessity of securing water for my army and a lodgment on the east 
ern bank, the burning bridge and the barricades of the enemy, the charge across the 
burning timbers and the relief given by its success, not only impressed me but 
all others present at the time. * * * The action was phenomenal ; and the prompti 
tude and gallantry of General Estes and his men under a very sharp fire were 

Captain Estes at the time of the above achievement was only twenty-one years 
old. One month after the Flint River engagement he was promoted major, a few 
months later lieutenant-colonel, and on September 30th, nine months after his 
twenty-first birthday, he received his commission as brigadier-general of volunteers. 




Private. Co. D.. 13th Massa 
chusetts Infantry. 
Highest rank attained : 


Born in Waltham. Mass., Feb. 
2, 1836. 

PRIVATE GEORGE H. MAYNARD, of Company D, Thirteenth 
Massachusetts Volunteers, distinguished himself through 
exceptional courage in several of the great battles. 

At the attack on Antietam, September 17, 1862, Maynard 
and one of his comrades remained at the front skirmishing 
after their regiment had been withdrawn. He assisted two 
of his comrades who were wounded, off the field, and when 
fresh troops were pushed on to the attack he attached him 
self repeatedly until at the end of the day he had served 
with no less than six regiments. 

Three months later his regiment participated in the charge 
at Fredericksburg, December 13, 1862, and suffered heavy loss. 
Maynard, who was in the skirmish line, went to the assist 
ance of his wounded comrades and did not leave them till he 
had them in a place of safety. After his regiment had been 

removed to another position he learned that one of his friends had been left 
wounded on the field. Regardless of the great danger he ran, he returned to the 
spot under a heavy fire, found the wounded man, and carried him safely to the rear. 

One of the most interesting incidents, however, in his military career occurred in 
the month of September, 1864. A mounted expedition under command of General 
Asboth and composed of detachments from several regiments, six hundred strong, 
left Pensacola, Fla., to capture or destroy the Confederate military stores at Mari- 
anna, Fla., a distance of 300 miles. After five days of rapid marches the destination 
was reached, but the enemy, having been advised of the approach of the detach 
ment, was found to be prepared to offer a stout resistance. 

The main road entering Marianna was narrow, with houses on both sides of 
the street. About 300 yards from where the detachment halted a barricade of 
wagons and carts of all descriptions was thrown across the street. 

Maynard had been promoted after the battle of Fredericksburg and assigned to 
duty in Florida and Louisiana and held the rank of Captain in the Eighty-second 
U. S. Volunteers at the time, and was acting provost-marshal of that expedition. 
He and Captain Young, of the Seventh Vermont Infantry, acting assistant adjutant- 
general, w r ere at the head and to one side of the column. Presently General Asboth 
gave orders to charge and two companies of cavalry advanced about two-thirds of 
the way to the barricade, when the rebels opened fire and drove the charging 
Federals back in disorder. 

General Asboth was greatly disappointed and cried " For shame ! For shame ! " 
as the retreating cavalry rushed past. The men, however, soon re-formed and an 
other charge was ordered. 

" This charge," says Maynard, " was led by the general, Captain Young and myself. 



"As our horses leaped the barricade, all three bunched together, the enemy fired, 
wounding General Asboth in the face and arm, and instantly killing Captain Young 
I drew rein, faced a blacksmith shop full of Confederate soldiers, and fired, shooting 
their major through the shoulder. Our cavalry was detained by the barricade, and 
General Asboth s horse ran away when he was shot, so, for the time being, I was 
alone. When the cavalry came up I quickly directed as to the whereabouts of the 
general, and the location of the enemy. As soon as Colonel Zulavsky of the Eighty- 
second U. S. Volunteers had dismounted some of his men and they were apprised of 
the situation an active firing began. 

"The enemy were posted behind houses on one side of the street, and behind the 
sheltering stones of a burial ground on the other, in the blacksmith shop, and in 
the church. Theirs seemed an impregnable position, but after an engagement of 
three-quarters of an hour they made overtures to surrender. No sooner had the 
Union troops ceased firing than they immediately reopened fire, killing one of our 
boys, which infuriated us. 

" Shortly after, the rebels surrendered a second time, but our troops were so en 
raged at the previous treachery that they began an indiscriminate attack upon the 
Confederates as they were being captured. 

"I at once dismounted and rushed into the graveyard, just in time to knock away 
a musket placed at the head of a prisoner, and threatened to blow out the brains of 
the first man who dared to shoot a prisoner. This course prevented a general mas 
sacre of our captured foes, numbering 108." 


|N the morning of September 13, 1864," says 
Corporal Isaac Gause, of Company E, Second 
Ohio Cavalry, " I was sent forward with seven men 
to reconnoiter the enemy s position on the north 
side of the creek near Berryville, Va. After we 
had crossed the creek we captured the Confederate 
outposts, from whom we learned that the troops in 
camp were the Eighth South Carolina. Sending 
our prisoners to the rear in charge of two men, I 
rode rapidly, expecting my five remaining comrades 
would follow me around the woods which were 
at the top of the ridge half a mile beyond the 
creek. Presently I discovered that I was alone, my 
comrades having left the pike, going to the left 
around the south side of the woods. I also saw that 

our main force under General Mclntosh had followed them and had attacked the 
enemy, who were on a hill to the west. Just at this time I reached the slope on 


Corporal, Co. E, Second Ohio Cavalry. 
Born in Trumbull Co., Ohio, Dec. 9. 1843. 


the east and north of the woods, when I was fired at from a thicket, whereupon I 
rode into a ravine at the west of the pike and jumped my horse over a ditch to get 
under cover. As my horse landed on the other side of the ditch he went to his 
knees and I thought he had been hit ; but he came up all right and I followed the 
ravine until I got back to the pike, where I met General Mclntosh and his staff and 
reported to him that the enemy had a cavalry reserve north of the woods and that 
they were getting ready to come to the assistance of the troops on the hill and 
in the woods. But, I said, we can get around the woods and intercept them. 
Accordingly Company E of my regiment, under command of Major Nettleton, 
was ordered to the place directed. Our movement was quickly made, and sure 
enough we reached the northwest corner of the ravine which I had before visited, 
entering a larger one running north just in time to intercept the Confederates mov 
ing north toward their cavalry. The heads of our columns were not more than fifty 
yards apart. We charged at them and were met by a withering fire, but this did 
not stagger us, and their line began to break. Come on boys ! I yelled, and with 
wild whoops we doubled our speed. Just then the cavalry reserve began to pop at 
us from the rear, but at this time also our main force came up from the south and 
west, and the Confederates between our lines began to flee in every direction. In 
the mix-up that followed I captured the color-guard and a stand of colors, and this 
won for me the Medal of Honor." 



TT HE stars and stripes and a rebel flag at the battle of Winchester, Va., Sep 
tember 19, 1864, made heroes of two brave Union soldiers Color-Sergeant 
Alphonso M. Lunt, of Company F, Thirty-eighth Massachusetts Infantry, and of 
Corporal Gabriel Cole, of Company I, Fifth Michigan Cavalry. Their stories stand 
out prominently among the many remarkable incidents of the war. 

The brigade to which Sergeant Lunt s regiment belonged was ordered to ad 
vance about 800 yards and halt. The impetus of the charge carried the troops 

Winchester, Va. On the 19th of September, 1864, Early, after having thrown the bulk of his army to 
Bunker Hill, and having reconnoitered as far as Martinsburg, was attacked by Sheridan at Winchester (or 
the Opequon), Va. After a most stubborn and sanguinary engagement, which lasted from early morning un 
til 5 o clock in the evening, the Confederates were completely defeated and driven to Winchester, closely 
followed by the Federal troops. Night prevented farther pursuit, and Sheridan rested with 2,500 prisoners, 
five pieces of artillery and nine battle-flags as his trophies of victory. The rebel General Kodes and 
General Godwin were killed and several other general officers unarmed. The Federal losses were severe, 
among them General D. A. Russell, commanding the First Division of the Sixth Corps, who was killed. 

Early did not halt in his retreat southward until he reached Fisher s Hill, thirty miles from Sheridan, 
and which commanded the narrow Strasburg Valley, between the Shenandoah River and North Mountain. 


Corporal, Co. I, Fifth Michigan Cavalry. 
Born at Beaver Dams, N. Y., March 22, 1831. 

way beyond the desig 
nated place and brought 
them into uncomfortable 
proximity with a much 
superior rebel force. 

Because of the long, 
rapid advance over 
ploughed fields, fences, 
and rough broken coun 
try generally, the Union 
line was in no condition 
to face such an assault and 
began to waver. At this 
Sergeant Lunt, who car 
ried his colors aloft thus 


Color-Sergeant. Co. F, 38th Mass. Infantry. 

Highest rank attained: Captain. 

Born at Berwick, Me., 1837. 

far through the fight, see 
ing that a rally must be made, waved the flag and with a yell rushed ahead about 
200 yards in advance of the line and shouted: "Dress on the colors!" Inspired 
by his bravery, the men of Company F at once responded, to be followed immedi 
ately by others, until about 100 men were supporting him, and there they stood 
facing a Confederate line of battle until the overwhelming numbers of the enemy 
forced them to retreat. No less than twenty-two bullet holes were counted in the 
folds of the flag which Sergeant Lunt had defended so bravely. 

Corporal Cole was at another point of the battlefield participating in those fierce 
cavalry charges led by General Custer, which to a large extent decided the battle in 
favor of the Union cause. During the last great charge, which culminated in a 
desperate hand-to-hand fight between the opposing foes, Corporal Cole, who was in 
the thickest of the fray, espied a Confederate color-bearer. He dashed up to him, 
swung his sabre over the rebel s head and w r ould have killed him with one blow had 
the man not ducked in time and dropped the flag. Corporal Cole seized the colors, 
but just at that instant his horse was shot in the shoulder and leg and fell. While 
trying to help the poor animal the brave corporal was himself wounded in the left 
leg. Still carrying the flag he limped along till a Union officer came to his assist 
ance. It was not long before Corporal Cole took possession of a riderless horse and ? 
mounting it, rejoined his regiment and stayed in the fight till the battle was ended. 

ANOTHER episode from the battle of Winchester. The rebels, in full retreat be 
fore a furious cavalry attack, were being closely followed by the Federals. 
During this charge Andrew J. Lorish, Commissary Sergeant of the First New 
York Dragoons, made a dash for the colors of a Confederate regiment. He was at 


his side just as the color-bearer, struck by a shot 
from his own ranks, stumbled and fell. Heedless 
of the Confederate color-guard of some six or seven 
men, the bold dragoon grabbed the standard and 
whirled his horse around to rejoin his comrades. 
At this the wounded color-bearer raised himself on 
his elbow and yelled : " Boys, shoot that damned 
Yankee ! He s got our nag ! Pie s got our flag ! 
Shoot him ! " 

Already several of the color-guard were raising 
their muskets to fire, but Sergeant Lorish Avas 
equal to the emergency. 

"Quick as a flash," says he, "with my arm up 
lifted, I wheeled my horse around and, dashing 
directly at the five men, commanded : Drop those 

guns or I ll send every one of you to hell ! As they dropped their guns I again 
wheeled and putting spurs to my horse dashed down the hill, to hear, when I was 
fifteen or twenty rods away, the bullets singing thick and fast above my head. But 
I escaped with the flag and was unhurt, to be greeted with cheers from my com 
rades as I joined them. 

" The mark of a Minie ball on the visor of my cap furnished proof of the perilous- 
ness of the situation I had encountered." 


Commissary Sergeant. First X. Y. Dragoons. 
Born in Dansville, N. Y., November 8, 1832. 


"THE Union soldiers accomplished a brilliant achievement 
at Bayou Alabama, La. General Granger was pur 
suing a body of Confederates under General Taylor and 
on September 24, 1804, had forced the enemy to offer 
battle or surrender. The two forces were separated only 
by the river, which was not more than fifty yards wide. 
General Granger s cavalrymen dismounted and began to 

C . . 1KA . mu ... LUMAN L. CADWELL, 

tight at 150 teet range. I he struggle was indecisive and sergeant, GO. B, second New York 
could only be brought to a successful close by an attack on Bom m Nanticoke springs, N. Y., 
the other side of the stream. How to cross the river, how 
ever, was a difficult problem just then, heavy autumn rains having swollen it and 
created a rapid current. A large flat-bottom scow was lying close in shore on the 
Confederate side. 


A call was made for volunteers to swim the river and secure the scow. Lieu 
tenant Westinghouse and Sergeant Luman L. Cadwell, of Company B, Second New 
York Cavalry, volunteered. They started on a run for the river, plunged in 
and swam directly to the enemy s line. It was an extremely dangerous undertak 
ing, the rebels pouring a shower of bullets at them, while balls from their own com 
rades were flying over their heads to the other side. However, miraculous as it 
may seem, the two brave swimmers reached the object of their heroic effort un 
hurt. After untying the scow and reaching deep water, they kept on the side more 


remote from the hostile shore and shoved the boat successfully to the other side of 
the river. 

" Bullets whistled about us like hail, hitting the boat and pattering in the water 
all around," Sergeant Cadwell says, in recalling the occurrence. Again, however, 
he and the lieutenant remained uninjured and thus were able to furnish the much 
desired means by which soon afterward the Union forces crossed the river. 

Lieutenant Westinghouse was killed a few months later, while Sergeant Cadwell 
lived to receive the precious medal for the heroic feat. 


1 i 



Sergeant, Co. D,6lst Perm. Inf. 

Highest rank attained : Captain. 

Born in Luzerne County, Pa., 

December, 1842. 

THE capture of the Confederate artillery by the Fed 
erals at Fisher s Hill, Va., on September 22, 1864, 
was an achievement which was accomplished largely by 
the personal courage of Sergeant Sylvester D. Rhodes, of 
Company D, Sixty-first Pennsylvania Infantry, who during 
that engagement was acting as captain of his company. 
The rebels had been driven back to their breastworks and 
attempted to direct their artillery fire on the advancing 
Union men. Owing to the hilly nature of the country, the 
guns behind the breastworks could not be depressed suffi 
ciently to strike the troops at the foot of the hill. 

Sergeant Rhodes, with quick perception, took advan 
tage of the situation. Stepping to the front of his com 
pany, he exclaimed, pointing to the rebel breastworks : 

" Now boys, let s go for those guns !" 

The men replied with a cheer and started up hill. Company F was the color 
company. " And," says Sergeant Rhodes in telling about the event, " when our colors 
moved the entire regiment followed with alacrity. 

" I was the first man over the breastworks. I jumped in right between tw r o guns, 
loaded and ready to fire, grabbed the hand-spike of one and turned it on the rebels , 
who were forming some fifty yards in the rear. By this time a number of comrades 
had come to my assistance and the gun which had been turned on the enemy was 
fired. The shell struck the top log on the works behind which the rebels were 
forming. They were panic-stricken and fled. Their artillery attempted to keep up 
with them and get way, but I shot one of the lead horses of the first piece and thus 
blocked the narrow road. The confusion which followed made it rather easy for us 
to capture the entire battery of seventeen pieces." 

Fisher s Hill, Va. Following close upon the defeat of Early at Winchester came his almost utter 
annihilation at Fisher s Hill, Va., on the 22nd of September, 1864. Sheridan achieved a most signal victory 
over Early at this place, and was prevented from totally destroying the enemy s army only by darkness- 
which made further operations impossible. 

Early was posted in an almost impregnable position on the North Fork of the Shenandoah and ex 
tending across the Strasburg Valley. After a great deal of manoeuvreing during the day the left of the 
enemy s line was furiously attacked and driven from their works. In the meantime the Sixth- and Nine 
teenth Army Corps attacked the rebel front, and the whole rebel army was forced back in utter confusion, 
retreating to the lower passes of the Blue Eidge, closely pursued as far as Staunton by Sheridan, who then 
returned and took position at Cedar Creek, Va. 

The Confederates lost about 400 in killed and wounded, and 1,100 men taken prisoners, while the 
Union losses were about 600 in killed and wounded. 




Private, Co. E, Ninth New York Cavalry. 
Born at Conewango, N. Y., June 26, 1841. 

A N illustration of true soldierly comradeship is pre- 
** sented in the story of Private William G. Hills, of 
Company E, Ninth New York Cavalry, who saved the 
life of Sergeant Joel H. Lyman, of Company B, of 
the same regiment. How it was done the latter de 
scribes in these brief but pointed words : 

" During our campaign in the Shenandoah Valley 
we reached Harrisburg, Va., on September 25, 1864, 
and on the day following we met the enemy s cavalry 
and drove them to the North Fork of the Shenandoah. 
When we arrived at the brow of the hill overlooking 
the river, which was quite narrow and fordable, we 
could see Early s Infantry drawn up in line on the 

opposite side. Supposing that our object was to capture the enemy s train, I gal 
loped down the slope, but had not gone twenty rods when I was knocked from my 
horse by a musket ball from the rebel rifle pits, which were hidden from my view 
by the willow trees bordering the opposite bank. 

" The regiment had been ordered back and I found myself alone and helpless, the 
enemy s bullets ploughing up the ground and throwing dirt all over me. Seeing my 
dangerous position, William Hills drove the spurs into his horse and galloped to the 
spot where I lay. Then coolly dismounting he lifted me to my saddle, mounted his 
own horse and supported me from the field, amid a veritable hail of bullets. It 
seemed as if the whole rebel army had concentrated its fire upon us. 

" For genuine pluck and comradeship I never in my three years of active service 
saw anything to compare with this deed." 


T^HE following account of a single-handed cavalry charge is graphically told by 
Captain George N. Bliss, Company C, First Rhode Island Cavalry : 

" About three o clock in the afternoon of September 28, 1864, I received an order 
from Major Farrington to ride to Waynesborough, Va., and give orders to the provost 
guards to prevent soldiers from entering the houses, as the entire cavalry force was 
about to pass through the town to water their horses in the Shenandoah. 

"It was a perfect day of early autumn. I rode into the town, gave my orders, 
and was about to return when my attention was attracted by the efforts of a 


Vermont cavalry regiment to destroy the railroad bridge ; the woodwork had been 
burned, and one span of the iron work had fallen. While watching this proceeding 
I heard shots in the distance across the river, and looking in that direction saw the 
enemy about a mile away, driving in our pickets ; but when the reserve 
was reached a charge of our men sent the rebels back again. At first 
I thought it was only a trifling picket line skirmish, but soon the 
reserve was hurled back, and I saw that it was an attack 
in force. 

"I at once rode to Captain Willis C. Capron, of the 
First Rhode Island Cavalry, who had command of 
about a dozen men as provost guard in the little vil 
lage, and ordered him to form his men in line across 
the main street and allow none but wounded men to 
pass to the rear. This was promptly done, and I was 
about to return to my squadron when Captain Capron 
said to me : 

" I wish you would take command here ; you 
know I have never been in a fight ! 

" At first I refused, but the men looked at me as 
though they really desired it, and I said to Captain 
Capron : 

" Very well, take your place in the rear of the 
line as junior captain, and, drawing my sabre, I took 
my place in front. 

" Our picket line was on the opposite side of the 
river fighting stoutly, but the force of the enemy was 

too strong for them and the firing was rapidly approaching us, when, having rallied 
about thirty men, it occurred to me that a charge across the river by us, accom 
panied by vigorous cheering, might produce the impression on our men and upon 
the enemy that re-enforcements had arrived, check the advance, and give our main 
body more time to form for action. 

" It was accordingly done, and with the effect that I had anticipated. I had 
nearly reached the front when a major rode up to me and said : Colonel Lowell 
wishes you to take your command to the ford of the river and stop all stragglers. 

" The order was promptly obeyed, and I was in time to stop about one hundred 
and fifty men. There were some lieutenants with them, who under my orders had 
just about succeeded in getting their men into line when a rebel battery commenced 

Captain. Co. C, First R. I 


Born at Eagleville, R. I. 
July 22. 1837. 

Waynesborongh On the 27th of September, 1864, General Torbert moved his command to Waynes- 
borough, Va., and on the following morning proceeded to destroy the railroad bridge across the South Fork 
of the Shenandoah River and burned the depot and government buildings. Late in the afternoon the 
enemy, under General Early, attacked the Union cavalry in strong force with infantry, cavalry and artil 
lery. They were held in check until after dark, when General Torbert, learning that the enemy were 
attempting to cut him off from the main army, fell back to Spring Hill without delivering battle. 


dropping shells among them, and away they went, sweeping my small force bodily 
across the river. In the town I again got some of my men together and endeavored 
to build a barricade across the main street. It was about half done when I saw 
that it could not be completed in time to be of any service, and we again fell back 
until we came to the Third New Jersey Cavalry, drawn up in column of squadrons 
in the western suburb of the town. Looking again towards the enemy I saw Colonel 
Charles Russell Lowell, who had been in command of the picket line, riding toward 


us with his horse on a walk, the last man to fall back before the advance of the 
enemy. The Confederate bullets were whistling about him, and frequent puffs of 
dust in the road showed where they struck right and left of this brave soldier. 
Putting spurs to my horse I rode forward and had the following conversation with 
him : 

" Colonel Lowell, I had but a few of the provost guards, and did what I could 
with them to help you. 

" Well Captain, we must check their advance with a sabre charge. Isn t that 
the best we can do ? 

" I think so, Colonel. 


" By this time we had come up to the Third New Jersey Cavalry, known in the 
army as the " Butterflies," on account of their gay uniforms, and Colonel Lowell 
said to the officer in command : Major, let your first squadron sling their carbines, 
draw their sabres and charge. 

"The order was given, Forward, but not a man moved. They were completely 
disheartened by having seen the other troops driven back. 

"The captain in command of the squadron said: Corporal Jones, are you 
afraid ? and the corporal made no reply. 

" The men wavered, and Colonel Lowell said : Give a cheer boys, and go at 
them, and spurred his horse at a gallop toward the enemy, followed by myself, 
both of us waving our sabres. The squadron at once cheered and followed. After 
going a short distance, Colonel Lowell drew out to one side, to be ready to send 
other troops to the support of the squadron, and I was left to lead the charge. I was 
mounted on a large, strong sorrel horse, and was soon 100 yards in advance of the 
squadron. Reaching the partly constructed barricade, I pulled up my horse. Looking 
back, I saw my men coming on with a splendid squadron front; looking forward, I saw 
the enemy in columns of fours, turning to retreat. The ground was down hill towards 
the enemy ; I had never seen a better opportunity for a sabre charge, and as the 
squadron neared me, I shouted : Come on boys, they are running, and jumping my 
horse over the low barricade, dashed in among the rebels, only to find myself making 
the attack single-handed. 

"I had ridden past a dozen of the enemy before I discovered my desperate situ 
ation. They were retreating in loose column of fours, and as I rode in among them 
there were three files on my left hand and one on my right. I felt that death was 
certain. Like a lightning flash my whole life seemed to pass in review before me, 
closing with the thought, and this is the end. There was but one chance. Fifty 
men behind me were shouting, Kill that damned Yankee ! 

" To turn among them and retrace my steps was impossible, but my horse was 
swift and I thought if I could keep on until I came to a side street I might dash 
into that and by making a circle again reach our lines. As I rode I kept my sabre 
swinging, striking six blows right and left. Two of the enemy escaped by quickly 
dodging their heads, but I succeeded in wounding four of them Captain William 
A. Moss, Hugh S. Hamilton, color-bearer of the Fourth Virginia Cavalry, and two 
others unknown to me. 

"The first side street reached was on the left. Keeping my head close to my 
horse s neck I then broke through the three files on my left and reached the side 
street in safety, fully twenty yards from the nearest horseman. 

" For a moment I thought I was safe, when suddenly a bullet, doubtless intended 
for me, struck my mount and he staggered under the shock. With rein and spur I 
urged him on, but it was in vain ; he fell with a plunge that left me lying upon the 
ground. Before I could rise two of the enemy reined in their horses by me and leaning 


over in their saddles struck at me, one with a carbine, the other with a sabre. I 
could parry but one, and with my sabre stopped the crushing blow from the carbine 
at the same instant that the sabre gave me a cut across the forehead. I at once 
rose to my feet and shouted to the soldier who had wounded me : Tor God s sake 
do not kill a prisoner ! 

" Surrender, then, he said. 

" I do surrender, I replied, whereupon he demanded my sword and pistol, which 
I gave to him, and had scarcely done so when I was struck in the back with such 
force as to thrust me two steps forward. Upon turning to discover the cause of this 
assault, I found that a soldier had ridden up on the trot and stabbed me with his 
sabre, which would have passed entirely through my body but for the fact that in 
his ignorance of the proper use of the weapon he had failed to make the half-turn of 
the wrist necessary to give the sabre smooth entrance between the ribs. I also 
saw at this moment another soldier taking aim at me with a revolver. 

"My chances seemed gone, but a sudden impulse took possession of me and 
I called for help and protection as a Free Mason. Captain Henry C. Lee, the 
acting adjutant-general of the enemy s force, heard my cry and at once came to 
my assistance, ordering a soldier to take me to the rear and see that my wounds 
were dressed. The soldier in whose charge I was despoiled me of my watch and 
pocket-book, and with some assistance, being weak from loss of blood, I mounted 
behind my guard, and later in the evening I w^as put into an ambulance with Cap 
tain William A. Moss, at that time a lieutenant, and driven several miles to a small 
house in the mountains. I found Captain Moss to be a brother Mason and he did 
everything possible for my comfort, although he had received a severe sabre cut 
from me." 


THREE millions of rations, vast quantities of ammu 
nition, guns and all other supplies of warfare 
stored at Allatoona, Ga., were the tempting objects of 
a bold and unexpected movement of General Hood, 
the Confederate Commander. Once in possession of 
the fort, with its costly stores, he would have robbed 
the Union Army of its base of supplies and forced it JOSEPH s. KEEN, 

to retreat. He would have frustrated Sherman s sergeant. c<>. i>. mu .Mu-h. infantry. 

. Born in Stanford, England, July 24, 184. 

march to the sea and - - But all this is mere specu 
lation. Hood did not capture the coveted treasure ; the Union Army did not lose 
its base of supplies ; it did not retreat, and Sherman s march became a historical fact. 


One of the reasons, and perhaps the principal one, for the failure of Hood s plan, 
was that Sherman was in time advised of the enemy s movements and put on 
his guard. That this view is shared by the great Union Army leader himself ap 
pears from his own statement. "There was great difficulty," General Sherman 
says, "in obtaining correct information about Hood s movements from Palmetto 
Station. I could not get spies to penetrate his camps, but on the 1st of October I 
was satisfied that the bulk of his infantry was at and across the Chattahoochee 
River near Campbellton. On that day I telegraphed to Grant : Hood is evidently 
across the Chattahoochee, below Sweetwater. If he tries to get on our road this side 
of the Etowah I shall attack him. * * * " 

Hood did try to get "on our road." 

And over the heads of the Confederates Sherman signaled his celebrated mes 
sage to Corse at Allatoona : " Hold the fort ; I am coming." 

The man who furnished General Sherman with the information in October, and 
upon wiiose report the important subsequent action was based, was Sergeant Joseph 
S. Keen, of Company D, Thirteenth Michigan Infantry. So valuable was his infor 
mation that a Medal of Honor was awarded Sergeant Keen in appreciation of the 


How Keen was enabled to learn the details of Hood s movements and impart 
them to the Federal commander forms the text of a peculiarly interesting story which 
he himself tells as follows : 

"At the battle of Chickamauga, Ga., I was wounded, taken prisoner and sent to Rich 
mond, where I was kept about three months. On December 12th we were shipped to 
Danville, Va. Five months later, on May 12, 1864, 1 was transferred to the prison at 
Andersonville, Ga., from where, on September 9, 1864, with several others, I made 
my escape. That day we were put into box cars and early in the afternoon reached 
Macon, some sixty miles north. Here we had to wait for other trains to get out 
of our way. Our train was standing on the outside track but one, upon which 
there was a long train of box cars. I noticed several prisoners were allowed to get 
out of the car and stand near the door conversing with the crowd that had been at 
tracted there by our arrival. I watched my opportunity, carelessly left the car and 
for a w r hile stood close beside it. A casual look at the guards in the doorway showed 
me at that moment that they were both looking inside. Quicker than a flash I 
dropped and dodged under the train and fortunately was not observed. While yet 
crawling across to the other side, the outer track, I heard the guard ordering all to 
get back inside. I put my head out the other side of the train and looked to the 
right and left its whole length ; no one could see me. I then crawled under the 
train of box cars on the outside track and, gaining the other side, rolled down the 
embankment into the ditch. 

"I worked my way along this ditch until I reached a culvert, into the darkest part of 
which I crawled, camping in about one foot of water. My loneliness was soon relie ved by 
the arrival of eight others who had taken the same means of escape. We kept hiding 
here till darkness broke in, when, the lower part of our bodies resembling a lot of 


par-boiled tripe, we crawled out of the culvert. We made our way to a little grove 
on the outskirts of Macon and then separated ; six going one way and I and two 
others, S. W. Ludden and John Hord, taking another direction. Our plan was to 

march twenty-five miles west, 
then gradually swing around, 
go 100 miles due north and 
thence follow an easterly course 
which, according to our calcula 
tions, would bring us in rear of 
Atlanta. It was a simple plan, 
indeed, it looked so easy ; a pleas 
ure trip we thought as we 
started out. But we were soon 
disappointed and for twenty- 
one days we wandered about, 
aimlessly sometimes, tired and 
worn out always, with nothing 
but the moon and stars to guide 
us and the hope of eventually 
reaching our troops to keep up 
our strength and courage. We 
learned more about astronomy 
during these twenty-one days 
than we ever knew before Jupi 
ter, Saturn, Mars, Venus, all 
served us a good turn. Slowly 
and amidst untold hardships 
we worked our way to the Chat- 
tahoochee River, which we 
crossed and followed till we 
struck the Western & Atlantic 

" Our appearance at this time 
was anything but inviting. Our 
clothes were torn to shreds and 
partly bound up by fine bark 
strings from young saplings, and 
our shoes were tied up in the 
same manner. The lower parts 

of our legs were bound around with pieces of bark. Our best time was usually made 
just before and after daylight early in the morning, as fewer people were around in 
those hours. Thus we plodded along the river bank until one day we saw Confeder- 



ate soldiers in large numbers on the opposite side of the river. The large cornfields 
on the hills seemed literally alive with forage teams, presenting quite an animated 
scene. Our position, close to the wood-skirted bank of the river, seemed safer than 
any other within view, so, keeping under cover, we kept working our way forward in 
a very cautious manner. A short distance in front, across a cornfield and on the 
edge of a piece of woods, could be seen column after column of rebel infantry march 
ing from the river directly back into the country. After watching them for a time 
we proceeded to hide ourselves on the river bank, and after crawling around the 
rather thin growth of brush and grass got into a fairly good place, and when sitting 
up had a splendid view of the pontoon bridge on which General Hood was crossing 
his army. This was about ten o clock in the morning, and from that time until 
night the rebel army poured across the bridge in one constant stream infantry, 
artillery, cavalry, generals and staffs, all marching in regular order ; no confusion, no 
noise, but with a military precision imposing in its magnificence that won even 
our admiration. Presently two rebel officers in a rowboat came floating down the 
stream on our side. As we- did not want them to know our opinion of the grand ex 
hibition of military splendor of their army, we thought it best not to hail them, but 
lay flat on the ground, expecting that they would soon drift beyond us. Now it so 
happened that we had selected a very poor hiding place, from the fact that a large 
muscadine grape-vine grew near this spot and branched out in every direction, part 
of its branches extending over to and hanging nearly into the river, and it was at 
this time loaded with grapes, and no doubt presented a tempting appearance from 
the river. Naturally it attracted the two officers to this particular spot, who com 
menced gathering grapes and hanging on to branches to prevent drifting away. 

" Every time the branches were pulled the grapes would come pattering down 
on our heads some twenty-five feet from the officers position, and almost in plain 
view, had they looked in our direction. They were looking at the top of the vine 
for the large grapes, completely overlooking the richer fruit at the roots. They 
were talking about the flank movement their army was executing and expressed the 
utmost confidence in its success. 

" Sherman will be obliged to evacuate Atlanta, one said and the other assented. 

"We were intensely interested in their conversation; not to that extent, however, 
as to forget our exposed position. What I feared most was that they would hear the 
beating of my heart. The suspense became dreadful. But finally the officers 
had their fill ; they let go of the branches and the boat and its occupants drifted 
down the stream. 

" Three minutes later we were in good hiding in a shock of cornstalks in 

the adjoining field, and from this time on about four o clock until dark we 

kept very quiet. After dark we walked boldly up to the road and at the first break 

that occurred in their column we got over the fence, crossed the road and entered 

the woods on the other side. We had great difficulty in making our way in the 


darkness of the night and decided to halt for fear of running against some of the 
rebel pickets. 

"At break of day we resumed our journey. Toward morning a fog commenced 
to gather and soon got so thick that we could not see forty feet ahead of us. That 
was our opportunity. We pushed ahead, and for a time were simply mixed up with 
the rebels. They were just getting breakfast and all seemed bustle and confusion. 
We lost no time in putting ourselves outside of their lines and were at least two miles 
away when the fog cleared up. We marched all day and night and by seven o clock 
the following morning discovered our troops on the other side of the Chattahoochee 
River. We crossed the stream and once more we were among our own troops, our 
friends, our comrades. 

" We were at once brought to General Kilpatrick, who questioned us sharply 
concerning our identity, and, having satisfied himself, discussed with us the details 
of the enemy s operations, of which we had been eye-witnesses. The information 
thus obtained was forwarded to General Sherman, who arranged his plans accord 

"We made our escape at Macon 103 miles south, September 10, 1864 ; it had 
taken us twenty-one days to make this apparently short distance, but I think we 
must have traveled 300 miles at least." 


/CAPTAIN CECIL CLAY, of Company K, Fifty-eighth Penn- 
^^ sylvania Infantry, was awarded the Medal of Honor for 
leading the attack on Fort Harrison, Va., bearing the flag of 
another regiment which he had picked up by the way. The 
attack was made, and the fort carried, by the first division of 
the Eighteenth Corps on September 29, 1864. Captain Clay 
writes : 

" We were drawn up about three-quarters of a mile from 
Fort Harrison, and before us was a stretch of open ground. 
Our skirmish line advanced alternately firing and halting to reload, while before 
them the rebel skirmishers retired with equal deliberation. As soon as our advance 


Captain, Co. K, 58th Penn. 

Highest rank attained: Bvt- 

Brig-General U. S.V. 

Born in Philadelphia, Pa., 

Feb. 13, 1842. 

From September 28 to 30, 1884, the Army of the James was engaged in the neighborhood of New 
Market Road, Va. The capture of Forts Harrison and tiilmore, and the engagements at Chapin s Farm and 
Laurel Hill were included in what is generally known as the battle of New Market Heights. The Union 
Army lost 2,429 in killed and wounded and the Confederates about 2,000, but the result of the battle was in 
favor of the Federals. 


Commenced the rebel guns opened upon us all along the line. We lost a large num 
ber of men crossing the open space, but I could see no signs of wavering. When 
we reached a point about 100 yards from the fort, where we were protected from 

steepness of the ground, we halted to get 
in our line. We lay down for a moment, 
a few hundred yards away what appeared 
works by fours. We thought at 
trying to get in ahead of us, but 

rode up to us, his old- 

the fire of the enemy s guns by the 
our breath and close up the gaps 
and as I looked to the right I saw 
to be a brigade moving into the 
first that it must be the Tenth Corps 
it occurred to me that they w r ere 

" At that moment Colonel Roberts 
fashioned black stock twisted around 
until the big bow was at the back of 
his neck. Grasping a revolver by the 
muzzle, and, waving it as one would a 
war club, he shouted : Now men, just 
two minutes to take that fort! 
Just two minutes, men ! 

"We sprang to our feet 
and dressed our line in an 
instant. Forward ! rang out 
from the officers, and away 
we went. 

" We struck the works on the 
north face, where the ditch was fully 
ten feet deep. The rebels fired at us 
and threw at us anything they could lay 
their hands on while we were jumping into 
the ditch. The first Sergeant of my company 
was hit on the head by a fuse mallet and 
knocked down. He jumped to his feet, mad 
as a hornet, and exclaimed : Damn a man who 
will use a thing like that for a weapon. A rebel 
officer mounted on an old gray horse rode out of a 
sally port near by, and pulling up on the bridge 
which spanned the ditch blazed away at us with his 
revolver. One of my men, named Johnson, who had 
been shot through the right arm, took his revolver in 
his left hand and emptied it at the rebel, but every shot 
went wide, and Johnson was left with an empty 

"Billy Bourke, a sandy-haired Irishman, had picked up the blue State flag of the 
One hundred and eighty-eighth Pennsylvania, the bearer of which had been shot at 



the edge of the ditch. Side by side we two climbed the parapet, until we could 
look over into the fort. No sooner had we raised our heads than a ball struck 
Bourke, cutting a gash across his forehead. He knocked against me, and we rolled 
back into the ditch together. Bourke was unable to see, as the blood was running 
into his eyes, so he gave me the colors and with the aid of a sword which I had 
plunged into the embankment as a footstep he hoisted me up on the parapet once 
more. Meantime Johnston had also climbed up, and was shot through the left arm be 
low the elbow as soon as he appeared on the parapet. Disregarding his wounds he 
jumped on the banquette, leveled his empty revolver at two wounded officers who 
were crouching there and made them surrender to him. Just then a little fellow 
fired at Johnson with a revolver and knocked him over. In the meantime the 
division was stubbornly fighting its way into the fort and the rebels were beginning 
to retreat when one of them turned and fired two shots at me, drilling a couple of 
holes in my right arm. Shifting the colors to my left hand, I continued to lead the 
advance until that hand was shot through also, and I had to stop and lay the colors 
up against the parapet. Some of the One hundred and eighty-eighth came up at 
this moment and I handed them their flag, which I had carried throughout the en 
tire charge." 

Captain Clay s wound proved to be so serious that it shortly afterward entailed 
the loss of the entire arm. 



WITH two dangerous wounds in his body Lieutenant 
Samuel B. Home, of Company H, Eleventh Con 
necticut Infantry, was carried off the field at Cold Harbor, 
Va., June 3, 1864, and sent to a hospital. Though his 
recovery proceeded slowly, he could not bear to be con 
fined to his bed and three months later returned to his 
regiment, though still an invalid. Ten days later, at 
Chapin s Farm, Va., September 29, 1864, he won his medal 
by a display of courage almost superhuman. It happened 
thus : Upon his return to the regiment he was attached 
to the staff of General Ord as aide-de-camp, and during the 
attack on Fort Harrison was sent to deliver a verbal mes 
sage to the colonel of one of the advancing regiments. 

" Though my injuries still pained me very much I obeyed the order cheerfully," 
Lieutenant Home goes on to tell. " I spurred my horse forward and soon came 
within range of the enemy s guns. While going at full gallop my horse was killed 


Lieutenant, Co. H, llth Conn. 

Born in Tullamore, Ireland, 
March 3, 1843. 


by grape shot and fell upon me with crushing weight, cracking some of my ribs, 
injuring me internally and pinioning me to the ground. Here I lay perfectly help 
less and suffering intense pain, until Colonel Wells rode up and relieved me from 
my precarious position. Still the message had to be delivered and although lacer 
ated, in great pain and partly denuded, I proceeded on foot to carry out my mission. 
I could only advance slowly and with difficulty and had to pass under the very guns 
of the fort before I reached the colonel of the advancing regiment. I reported to 
General Ord and was with him when he was wounded on the parapet and with him 
was taken to the rear." 


k T 


Sergeant-Major, 4th U. S. Colored Troops. 

attack upon the rebel works at New Market 
Heights, Va., September 29, 1864, one of 
the most stubborn in the history of the war, was 
delivered by the Fourth and Sixth U. S. Colored 
Troops, who lost more than half their men in that 
bloody charge. An account of the occurrence is 
given by Sergeant-Major Christian A. Fleetwood 
of the Fourth U. S. Colored Troops, as follows : 

"Our regiment lined up for the charge with 
eleven officers and 350 enlisted men. There was 

but one field officer with us, Major A. S. Boernstein, who was in command. Our ad 
jutant, George Allen, supervised the right, and I, as sergeant-major, the left. When 
the charge was started our color-guard was complete. Only one of the twelve 
came off that field on his own feet. Most of the others are there still. Early 
in the rush one of the sergeants went down, a bullet cutting his flag -staff in two and 
passing through his body. The other sergeant, Alfred B. Hilton, of Company H, a 
magnificent specimen of manhood, over six feet tall and splendidly proportioned, 
caught up the other flag and pressed forward with them both. 

"It was a deadly hailstorm of bullets, sweeping men down as hailstones sweep 
the leaves from the trees, and it w r as not long before he also went down, shot 
through the leg. As he fell he held up the flags and shouted : Boys, save the 

colors ! 

"Before they could touch the ground, Corporal Charles Veal, of Company D, had 
seized the blue flag, and I the American flag, which had been presented to us by the 
patriotic women of our home in Baltimore. 

"It was very evident that there was too much w r ork cut out for our regiments. Strong 
earthworks, protected in front by two lines of abatis and one line of palisades, and in 


the rear by a lot of men who proved that they knew how to 
shoot and largely outnumbered us. We struggled through 
the two lines of abatis, a few getting through the palisades, 
but it was sheer madness, and those of us who were able 
had to get out as best we could. Reaching the line of our 
reserves and no commissioned officer being in sight, I rallied 
the survivors around the flag, rounding up at first eighty- 
five men and three commissioned officers. During the day 
about thirty more men came along all that was left. 

"I have never been able to understand how Veal and I 
lived under such a hail of bullets, unless it was because we 
were both such little fellows. I think I weighed then about 
125 pounds and Veal about the same. We did not get a 
scratch. A bullet passed between my legs, cutting my boot 
leg, trousers and even my stocking, without breaking the skin." 

The brave sergeant-major and his no less brave comrades, Sergeant Alfred B. 
Hilton, of Company H, and Corporal Charles Veal, of Company D, were awarded the 
Medal of Honor. 

At the same battle First Sergeant Alexander Kelly, of Company F, Sixth U. S. 
Colored Troops, also distinguished himself and was awarded with the medal for 
saving the flag of his regiment after the color-bearer and most of the company had 
been either killed or wounded. 


First Sergeant, Co. F, Sixth U. S. 

Colored Troops. 

Born in Indiana Co., Pa., April 



"THE narrator of the following story, Corporal William L. 
* Graul, of Company I, One hundred and eighty-eighth 
Pennsylvania Infantry, was a mere boy of eighteen when 
he earned his medal for an act of distinguished bravery and 
dash at the storming of Fort Harrison, Va., September 29, 
1864. He writes : 

" On the night of the 28th of September we were ordered 

-r, . T . T WILLIAM L. GRAUL, 

to cross the James Kiver on a muffled pontoon bridge at 

Corporal, Co. 1, 188th Pa. Infantry. 

Akren s Landing. Just at the break of the next day we Bom at Reading, pa.,joiyw, 


commenced a cautious advance upon the enemy, whose 

pickets were soon encountered and driven back, and pushing on at quick time 
through a wood with tangled undergrowth we at last emerged upon open ground in 
front of the rebel works, which were only a few yards away. Fort Harrison, 
strongly built and bristling with cannon, was in our immediate front, and we were 
ordered to charge. A long stretch of open ground was passed at a run, and though 


the enemy brought all their guns and small arms to bear they failed to get a good 
range on our advancing troops, firing for the most part too high. 

" At a point within fifty yards of the fort was a slight ravine, stretching along in 
its front, and affording some protection. Here the line was re-formed and the men 
took breath. We were now under a desperate fire and an advance was sure to entail 
heavy slaughter, but pausing only for a moment the word was again given to 
charge, and without flinching the line sprang forward. A terrible volley swept our 
ranks and many a brave man fell. For an instant we seemed to waver, but only for 
an instant, and recovering we dashed on and up the hill. 

" I was on the color-guard, and when about half way up the color-bearer, William 
Sipes, was killed and the regimental flag fell on me. I at once threw my gun away 
and seizing the colors ran up the hill, jumped into the ditch of the foe, then climbed 
up on the flag-staff and placed the colors of the One hundred and eighty-eighth 
Pennsylvania alongside of the rebel flag. 

" I saw that the enemy were weakening, and cheered our men on. We captured 
Fort Harrison and then advanced on Fort Gilmore under the fire of the rebel gun 
boats. We were compelled to fall back in the evening, however, and in our retreat, 
the color-bearer of the Fourth New Hampshire being hit, I brought their colors 
back with me." 



T^VURING the operations before Richmond, Va., in Octo- 
*-^ ber, 1864, the Seventh New Hampshire Infantry 
was stretched out in a single line in order to ascertain 
accurately the strength of the enemy s defenses. Com 
pany C was at the extreme left and had a rather peculiar 
experience, which Sergeant George P. Dow, who was in 
command, describes as follows : 

u i i i i i Sergeant. Co. C, 7th N.H. Infantry. 

"Advancing we came to a large stream and a bridge B oraat Atkinson, N.H., Aug. T.IS/O! 
over which I led my company. We marched on, but the 

cannonading was so terrific that we could not hear the bugle from which we were 
to take orders. Still we advanced till we came to a clearing and presently found 
ourselves in front of the rebel breastworks mounted with guns and large bodies of 
infantry lying behind them. For some reason or other the enemy did not open on 
us. We halted and it was then that I made the startling discovery that my com 
pany had been separated from the regiment, which, as I afterward learned, had 
stopped at the stream. There was but one way out of our dangerous situation ; we 


had to retreat. I gave the order, but in the roar of cannons and the smoke of firing 
we became confused and we missed the bridge and had to swim the stream. After 
thus crossing the water we marched for some distance and finally arrived at a farm 
house, where we found a woman apparently only too willing to help us find our way. 

" Which direction has our line of battle taken ? I asked her. 

" She pointed toward Richmond. I knew she was not telling the truth and took 
my company in an opposite direction. A little later we met one of our aides, who 
warned us that we were in danger of being gobbled up by the enemy s cavalry, so we 
started at a double-quick and found the regiment drawn up in the woods. 

"My company in this advance had got nearer to Richmond than any Union 
troops had yet done, and the information we brought back was of great importance 
to the Army of the James. 




Sergeant, Co. F, 113th Illinois 

Born at Maysville, Ky.. April 6, 1841. 

deed of Sergeant John S. Darrough, of Company F, 
One hundred and thirteenth Illinois Infantry, was a 
truly noble one. 

In a bad plight himself and in want of help, he forgot 
his own serious predicament when he saw an officer 
in danger and hastened to his rescue. The story is told 
by the sergeant in these simple words : 

" Our regiment had dwindled down to 300 men, when 
it was dispatched from Memphis, Tenn., to cut the com 
munications at Eastport, by tearing up the tracks and de 

stroying the bridge. The transports, convoyed by small wooden gunboats, pro 
ceeded up the Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers, and landed us about three miles 
below Eastport, on the south side of the river. 

" Our force was partly landed when a masked battery in a clump of trees opened 
fire on us at close range, doing great execution. Steam-pipes were cut and many of 
the men scalded. The boats backed out from the bank without waiting to haul in 
their gang-planks. Most of our men made their way to a point down stream where 
they were partly out of range, and one of the gunboats dashed in and took them off, 
while the other engaged the battery. 

"Those of us who were unable to get to the point in time to be taken off were 
left to shift for ourselves. A deep bayou prevented us from going farther down 
the bank, and our only means of escape seemed to be by swimming the Tennessee, 
which was a mile wide at this point. 


" I made up my mind at once that the Tennessee was by far preferable to either 
being shot to death or made a prisoner, and concluded to swim across the stream. 
How to carry my gun and clothes was the next perplexing question, and I com 
menced to look for a log or limb to float them on, when, to my great joy, I presently 
discovered a canoe hidden in a canebrake. I quickly launched and boarded 
the boat and, making vigorous use of the one oar it contained, paddled out into the 
river, where I could see the bend. Our boats were quite a distance away and under 
headway, though the gunboat and battery were still carrying on their cannonading. 
I felt satisfied that I would either overtake the boats or cross to the opposite side of 
the river and have a chance at least to join the Union forces some fifty or a hundred 
miles away. 

" Then something occurred which, for the time being, changed my entire plan. 
Looking ashore in the direction of the rebels, I noticed one of our men in a helpless 
condition. He had crossed the bayou and advanced quite a way down the river, 
when his strength had apparently given out. There remained but one thing to do : 
to get to the rescue of my comrade. 

" I confess, it was not a pleasant task to paddle back toward the rebels, but I 
hastened ashore and. then discovered the comrade to be Captain A. W. Becket, of 
Company B. He was faint and exhausted and about to give out completely. I 
placed him in the canoe and succeeded in reaching the other shore safely." 


A MONG the Union forces at Baton Rouge, La., in 
** October, 1864, was Captain Mack s Black Horse 
Battery of Rochester, N. Y., officially known as the 
Eighteenth Independent Battery of New York. On 
the 11 th of October the officer in command of the bat 
tery directed Corporal Champany to repack the limber 
chest belonging to his gun. It contained sixteen cart 
ridges, each one holding two pounds of powder and 
thirty-two twenty-pound shell and shot. About twenty 
of the shells were what are known as fuse shells, filled 
to the nozzle with powder and iron bullets, tow being 

put in to keep the powder from spilling out. The remainder of the missiles were 

solid shot, percussion shells and canister. 

Having completed the repacking, Corporal Champany found that he could not 

close the lid without help and called to Private Charles White to assist him. The 


Private, 18th Ind. Battery, N. Y. 
Born in Scotland, 1835. 


violent pressure they together put upon the lid in some way caused a terrific ex 
plosion, killing Champany almost instantly, throwing White seventy feet away, 
where he landed in a mud puddle, and blowing the chest to atoms. The first man 
to reach the scene of the tragedy was Private Thomas Gilbert, who narrates what 
happened as follows : 

"I ran to poor Champany, who, horribly burned and mangled, was still breathing, 
but just as I reached him I noticed that the tow of some of the unexploded shells 
was burning. Seizing a pail of water from a gunner near by and calling loudly for 
more water, I dashed the contents of the pail on the burning shells. Then, another 
pail of water having been brought, I picked up the twenty shells and dipped the 
burning end of each into the water. By this action the caissons of the entire bat 
tery and the lives of many men who had quickly gathered about, to say nothing of 
my own life, were saved. The explosion was heard miles away and it became 
necessary to surround the battery with guards to keep the curious away." 


A NOTHER interesting incident at the battle of 
** Chapin s Farm, Va., September, 30, 1864, was Pri 
vate Franklin Johndro s gathering in of forty rebels. 
The battle had raged for some time. The second 
charge of Longstreet s Army had been repulsed by 
the Union forces and the Confederates were falling 
back. The One hundred and eighteenth New York 
Volunteers held a position about twenty rods from 
the foot of a slight hill, which was occupied by the 
enemy. Every charge thus far made had been im 
mediately repulsed by this regiment countercharging 
as soon as the enemy appeared in force on the hill 
This manoeuvre checked every assault at the foot of 

the hill. Many of the rebels found temporary protection there, but could not retreat. 
The captain of Company A saw quite a number of these unfortunates. He pointed 
out to Private Johndro the danger these fellows were putting his men in, and then 
induced this brave soldier to at once fix his bayonet and charge all alone on these 
skulkers. A heavy fire was concentrated upon him by the enemy s sharpshooters, 
but he succeeded in driving in no less than forty rebels as his prisoners. 

A few months later when the Medal of Honor was pinned to his breast for this 
deed, his colonel remarked: "Johndro, if I owned this Medal of Honor and had 
won it in the way you did, I should think more of it than I do of the eagles that I 
carry on my shoulders." 


Private, Co. A, 118th New York Vols. 
Born at Highgate Falls, Vt. 




Captain, Co. F, 2d Mas?. Cavalry. 

Born at Colchester, Conn.. Jan. 

20, 1840. 

A \ 7 HEN Longstreet and Early planned to annihilate 
Sheridan s Army in the Shenandoah Valley, the 
Federal forces were at the little village of Middletown, 
Va., and around the immediate neighborhood, between 
the village and Cedar Creek. The Confederate attack 
made at early dawn, October 19, 1864, was a complete 
surprise, and came so unexpectedly that many of 
the Union soldiers had no time to put on their clothes. 
About ten o clock in the forenoon General Sheridan 
reached the scene of action, and the battle of Cedar 
Creek which continued throughout the day was 
transformed from defeat, rout and confusion to order 
and victory. 

The Second Massachusetts Cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel Caspar Crowninshield 
commanding, was attached to Lowell s Brigade and was stationed near the village 
of Middletown. Captain Henry H. Crocker, of Company F, a part of the so-called 
California Battalion attached to this regiment, refers to the battle as follows : 

"We were aroused early in the morning by the attack of the enemy. As the 
enemy came upon us with force we were compelled to fall back slightly, but as we 
did so we inclined toward the pike at our right, thus keeping our line of communi 
cation open. It was a bitter contest, the enemy coming at us in several distinct 
charges, in each of which they were repulsed. Colonel Lowell, our brigade com 
mander, who was killed later in the day, rode up and down our line encouraging the 
men to stand together, and assuring them that General Sheridan would soon be on 
the field with re-enforcements. 

" About this time a body of the enemy was seen to emerge form the woods and 
advance upon our front. My mind was immediately set upon checking those fel 
lows, so I rode up to Colonel Crowninshield and asked permission to charge them. 
The colonel gave his consent, but cautioned me not to advance too far, and if pos 
sible, he added, come back with a few prisoners. 

Cedar Creek, Va. Afterhis victory at Fisher s Hill, Sheridan proceeded to lay waste to the Shenandoah 
Valley. Frequent cavalry combats took place between Sheridan s and Early s forces at Cedar Creek, 
but no decisive movement occurred until the 19th of October, 1864. Soon after midnight of the 18th Early 
surprised General Wright, who in Sheridan s absence was in command of the Union Cavalry. The Federal 
.troops were completely demoralized and were falling back toward Winchester. Sheridan had returned to 
the latter place from Washington the night before, and upon hearing the artillery firing he started in the 
morning on a dashing twenty-mile ride, and arrived on the field of battle in time to check the retreat and 
turn it into one of the most brilliant victories of the war. The Federal loss was 5,995, while the Confed 
erate loss was 4,200. 


"I hurried back to my company and told the boys, very much to their satisfac 
tion, of the work before us. We waited until we knew that the advancing force 
could give us but one volley before we could reach them, then I gave the command: 
Forward ! Trot ! Gallop ! Charge ! and away 
we went with sabres flashing in the sunlight. 
The expected volley was received, saddles 
were emptied and horses went down, but on 
we went. In less time than it takes to tell it 
we were among them, their line was broken 
and we demanded their surrender. Many ran 
back into the woods where we could plainly 
see the enemy in force, but they 
did not fire upon us for fear 
of hitting their own men. 
We brought back 
fourteen prisoners 
on the run. 

"In the heat of 
our charge I had felt 
a dull, throbbing pain 
in my left leg and 
knew that I had 
been wounded, 
but that did 
not pre 
vent me 
from stop- 
ping, on 

our return, to pick up Lieutenant Mclntosh, whose horse had been killed and who was 
loosening the cinch from his saddle. When he had completed his task he mounted 
my horse behind me and thus we rode back to our lines just as General Sheridan 
came dashing along the road on his famous ride from Winchester." 

The prisoners captured by Captain Croker in this charge were, according to the 
statement of Colonel Crowninshield, the first rebels captured that day, and therefore 
of great importance to General Sheridan, who had them questioned closely as to the 
strength and formation of the opposing army. They also gave the valuable and as 
suring information that General Longstreet had not united forces with General 
Early, as had been believed by the leaders of the Union forces. This was informa 
tion of such importance that it naturally changed arrangements of manoeuvres and 
the expected defeat of the morning was changed into a grand victory by evening. 




"PHE loss of some guns was one of the most unfortunate incidents to the Union 
forces during the early part of the battle of Cedar Creek. The circumstances 
of the occurrence are referred to by General Warren J. Keifer, of the Tenth Ohio 
Infantry, who commanded the Third Division, as follows : 

" A number of guns belonging to the Sixth Corps were posted on the hills .on my 
left. The guns under the command of Captains McKnight and Adams and under the 
direction of Colonel Tompkins, Chief of Artillery of the Sixth Corps, were admirably 
handled and rapidly fired, although under a heavy and close musketry fire of the 
enemy. After over 100 artillery horses had been shot, the enemy succeeded in cap 
turing a portion of the guns, having approached under cover of the smoke and fog 
from the left, which was unprotected. A charge was ordered and the guns were 
retaken, three of which were drawn off by hand; others were left in consequence of 
being disabled, but were subsequently recaptured. Great gallantry was displayed 
in this charge by officers and men. The rebels were fought hand-to-hand and driven 
from the guns." 

The saving of the guns was the proud achievement of Colonel W. W. Henry, of 
the Tenth Vermont Infantry. He undertook the task when no one else would, and 
at a time when courage and heroism were most needed. 

When Captain McKnight, pressed by the enemy, was forced to abandon his guns, 
great confusion followed within the Union lines and the entire brigade fell back 
some 300 yards. General Ricketts, the division commander, succeeded in stopping 
a further retreat, re-established the lines and ordered the capture of the abandoned 
guns. But in spite of the order not a regiment stirred. Vexed and annoyed, Gen 
eral Ricketts exclaimed : " Is there not some officer of the First Brigade who will 
lead the charge ? " 

Instead of an answer Colonel Henry stepped in front of his regiment. 

" Forward ! " his voice rang out. 

And at the head of the color-guard he marched his men against the rebels. A 
wild rush for the guns was made, and while some of the Vermonters engaged the 
Confederates in a hand-to-hand fight others busied themselves about the guns and 
hauled them off. The arrival of the balance of the brigade prevented the rebels 
from pursuing the daring colonel and his brave regiment, and Captain McKnight s 
captured guns were brought back unmolested to General Ricketts. 




Private, Troop A, Ninth New York 


Highest rank attained: Captain. 
Born at Warsaw, N. Y., Feb. 24, 1848, 

WHEN General Sheridan s forces, late in the afternoon 
of the battle of Cedar Creek, made their last 
charge and completely routed the enemy, it was fol 
lowed by some confusion within the Union ranks them 
selves. Many companies became separated from then 
regiments, regiments from their divisions. This hap 
pened, among other troops, to the Ninth New York 
Cavalry, which, at the end of the battle, when night 
fall came, was completely broken up. 

Troop A of that regiment had charged the enemy 
through Stiasburg, and while following the fleeing 
Confederates to Fisher s Hill had been separated from 
the main body, and, dissolved into small squads, was 
gathering prisoners, capturing wagons, ammunition, etc. One member of that troop, 
Private Harry J. Parks, in his ardor to head off the Confederate supply train, had 
galloped far in advance of his comrades and was, before he realized it himself, in the 
very midst of a large body of rebel soldiers. However, darkness shielded him from 
being recognized, and the plucky private s own story shows how he preserved his 
presence of mind and extricated himself from the dangerous situation in a manner 
which reflects great credit upon him. He says : 

" I pushed on rapidly and presently came upon a Confederate who was carrying 
a stand of colors and an overcoat on his arm. 

" Halt ! I exclaimed, I want your flag ! 

"The rebel made a quick jump behind my horse, drew his revolver and made a 
dash for the river. 

" I wheeled my horse, pulled my own gun and fired at him. I must have scared 
him badly, for he threw up his hands in despair and shouted : 

" I surrender ! Don t shoot again ! 

" And now prisoner and flag were mine. I marched the Johnny at the side of 
my horse till some time later, when I met one of our men, to whom I turned over my 
prisoner. I advanced still farther, and at the foot of Fisher s Hill encountered two 
teamsters in charge of three wagons. I stopped and ordered them to Turn around, 
quick ! Drive the other way ! Follow me ! 

" In the darkness they mistook me for one of their own men and obeyed my 
directions without hesitation. I led them to our own lines and within safe distance 
disarmed them and brought them in as prisoners. The wagons contained loads of 
choice eatables, cigars and tobacco, and for several days following our boys lived 
high and in luxury." 



Corporal. Co. A. 1st Vt. 


Born at Willianislnirg 
Mass.. June f>, lM:i. 

WHILE it may be true that, as Corporal Frederick 
Lyon, of Company A, First Vermont Cavalry, 
states, the "luck" or "opportunity" of distinguishing 
oneself in the cavalry, in a measure, depends on the 
mount, the corporal s own achievement as brilliant as 
any during the war cannot be cited in proof of the asser 
tion. Presence o f mind, quick decision and boldness rather 
than the mount were the elements of this cavalryman s " luck," 
which is shown by Corporal Lyon s own story : 

"It was at the battle of Cedar Creek, October 19, 1864. On 
account of being surprised the left of our line fell back during 
the day nearly four miles. About four or five o clock in the afternoon General 
Merritt s Division of cavalry charged that branch of the rebel force on the Dirt 
Road which ran parallel to the Pike nearly four miles distant, and we saw nothing 
more of them during the engagement. It was nearly night when General Custer s 
Division was ordered forward. Upon reaching Cedar Creek we found that the enemy 
had all crossed the stream. Sergeant Haskell, of Company H, of my regiment, and 
myself were the first to cross at some distance above the bridge, but we were not long 
without company, the whole command coming in a body. The ground w r as level for 
some distance after leaving the creek and many prisoners were taken and sent to 
the rear under their own escort. At the top of a sharp hill we halted for a moment 
and made some pretense of forming a line. This delay, however, was of short dura 
tion. It was getting so dark now that we could not distinguish our own men. 
Knowing that General Merritt had routed the enemy s entire cavalry force, and as 
we had no infantry on that side of Cedar Creek, it was obvious that every dis 
mounted man we met belonged to General Early s command. 

" We had only charged a short distance around the curve in the pike when we 
came upon the whole retreating army, infantry, artillery, ambulance, baggage 
wagons, etc. The charge as a command was at an end. It was every one for him 
self, and the longest pale knocked off the largest persimmons. All was excitement. 
The fun for us at least was unlimited. I never saw such a stampede. Whole com 
panies surrendered to half a dozen mounted men. Some of us galloped forward 
seeking diversion nearer the front. The only way was to call your horse out on 
one side of the pike, ride past half a dozen wagons, or pieces of artillery, command 
the leading rider to halt, shooting down a horse if necessary to force obedience, and 
order all to the rear. 

" I was getting well to the front of the retreating column. Even a rebel bugler who 
had been near me continually sounding the charge was ordered to the rear. It was 


dark ; I began to feel as if I was away from home, among a strange people. Jump 
ing my horse upon a bank to the right, I rode past a number of wagons, and halted 
an ambulance that was about to cross the bridge at Strasburg. A voice from out 
the darkness replied : General Ramseur is inside and he ordered us to move on/ 
"Now I had seen considerable of generals, but to order one to halt, and a major- 
general at that, after he had given the order to move on/ was considerably out of 
my line. It was reversing things. I fortunately maintained my presence of mind 
and a second time requested their delay, informing them that I was a member in 
good standing of the Federal Army. What from the ambulance are you a 


Yank? I 
replied that I 
belonged to the 
First Cavalry, and my 
questioner, a major on 
General Ramseur s staff, ap 
preciated the situation at 

"The conference was brief and ended in the ambulance turning around and start 
ing back toward Cedar Creek and Winchester. On the return I met General William 
Wells, commanding our brigade, who advised me to take my prisoners to General 
Custer s headqurters. The ambulance contained the general, a major, driver and a 
battle-flag. Generals Custer and Ramseur knew each other well, having been class 
mates at West Point." 

Within a week after this incident, Corporal Lyon received orders to report to 
Washington, and was there presented with a Medal of Honor by President Lincoln 
in presence of his cabinet. 





Corporal, Co. D, 5th New 

York Cavalry. 

Born in Co. Tipperary. 

Ireland, Dec. 4, 1841. 


Sergeant, Co. E, 1st Vt. C;iv. 

Born at Francotown, N. H., 

May 30, 1839. 

following tell of interesting episodes 
centering around the colors, Federal 
and Confederate, at the long-drawn-out 
and bloody battle of Cedar Creek. 

Early in the engagement the standard 
of the Fifteenth New Jersey Infantry had 
been captured by the enemy. The loss 
became quickly known among the Union 
troops and several unsuccessful attempts 
to recapture the flag were made. Corporal John Walsh, of Company D, Fifth New 
York Cavalry, during one of the subsequent fierce charges, had the good fortune to 
succeed where so many others had failed. During the heat of a hand-to-hand strug 
gle he noticed a Confederate color-bearer carrying a flag which he at once recognized 
as the one taken from the New Jersey boys. With a sudden rush he made for the 
rebel guard, overpowered him and wrenched the trophy from him. All of this was 
done on the spur of the moment and so quickly that the Confederate color-guard 
and his comrades hardly realized what had happened until it was all over and the 
daring corporal with his precious prize was back within the Union lines. 

It was an impressive scene when, after the battle, the New Jersey regiment was 
called out on parade, and in presence of General Sherman received back its colors 
at the hands of Corporal Walsh. 

The last decisive charge was made in the afternoon between three and four 
o clock. It was by far the bloodiest of the entire battle and 
put the individual bravery of the Union soldier to its highest 
test. The conduct of Private Martin Wambsgan, of Com 
pany D, Ninetieth New York Infantry, furnishes a good 
illustration. While on the advance the color-bearer of his 
regiment was killed, shot through the head. He fell forward 
on his face and landed squarely on the flag, which was rid 
dled with bullet holes, while the staff had been shot in two. 

When this occurred Private Wambsgan was only a few 
feet away from the unfortunate flag-bearer. With one leap 
he was at his side, pulled the colors from under him, and, 
yelling as loudly as he possibly could, waved the flag over his 
head. Then he ran to the front of his regiment, where he 
took post during the remainder of the fight, holding the colors aloft, the piece of 
pole and his arm serving as a flag-staff. At the time the color- bearer was killed 


Private, Co. D. 90th N. Y. Inf. 

Born in Bavaria, Germany, 

August 9, 1839. 


and the colors went down the regiment showed signs of wavering, but Private 
Wambsgan s quick action renewed the energy and courage of the men and contrib 
uted materially to the success of the charge. 

During the same charge, when the enemy were already in full retreat, Sergeant 
Eri D. Woodbury, of Company E, First Vermont Cavalry, encountered four Confed 
erate infantrymen retreating toward a small knoll. He drew- his sabre and ordered 
them to surrender. The rebels hesitated, but did not raise their rifles. The actions 
of one made Woodbury suspicious, and scanning him more closely he perceived that 
he was trailing behind him a flag rolled on his staff. 

"Give up that flag ! " Woodbury demanded. 

Naturally, the Confederate objected, but the determination of the Union cavalry 
man soon convinced him that resistance would be folly and reluctantly he handed 
over his colors. The brave sergeant then rode proudly back to his regiment, where 
he handed over his prisoners and captured colors and received the commendation of 
his superior officers. 



HE capture of a general officer in battle is a note 
worthy event, but when the officer is one of promi 
nence the act becomes of great interest, and especially 
when the capture is made single-handed by a private 
soldier; thus the capture of Confederate General 
Marmaduke by Private James Dunlavy, Company 
D, Third Iowa Cavalry, necessarily takes a high place in 
the annals of history. 

Amid the heavy roar of cannon, on the open plains of 
Kansas, the two contending forces met to do battle for 
supremacy at Little Osage Crossing on the morning of the 
25th of October, 1864. The Confederate artillery was playing 
on the Federal forces with fearful effect, but notwithstanding 

this incessant and terrific fire the Federal infantry never wavered. The safety of 
the Federals lay in a charge by which the enemy s guns could be captured. The 


Private, Co 1), Third Iowa Cav 

Born in Decatur County. Ind. 
Pel). 4, 1844. 

Early in the spring of 1864 it became known to General Rosecrans, commanding the department of 
Missouri, that the Confederate General Price intended a great invasion of Missouri, which is historically 
known as Price s Missouri Expedition (Aug. 29-Dec. 2, 1864), and included skirmishes, engagements and 
battles in Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas. At Little Osage Crossing, Kansas, on the 25th of October, the 
Federals under General Pleasanton routed the Confederates, capturing 1,000 prisoners, military arms, 
ammunition, and Generals Marmaduke and Cabell. 


movement was begun slowly at first, but increased in velocity until it swept on 
resistless as an avalanche. The crash of musketry, the scream of shell, the buzzing 
of canister and ball enthused the dashing cavalry. The charge was successful, the 
rebels being routed. At this juncture Private James Dunlavy was severely wounded, 
his arm being shattered by a piece of shell, which also struck his horse, making him 
wheel suddenly to the rear. Undaunted, the plucky rider headed him in the direc 
tion of a brigade which he thought was his own, but which proved to be the enemy. 

He noticed a Confederate officer riding among the 
excited soldiers and exhorting them to make a 
stand. Dunlavy raised his carbine, aimed at 
him and fired. The shot missed its mark, but 
had served to attract the officer s attention 
to the doughty soldier, and dashing up to 
him he asked in an angry tone : 
"What do you mean, shooting 
at your own officer ? Give 
me that revolver." 

"Surrender, or 
I ll fire ! " 

To say that the 
Confederate officer 
was paralyzed with 
surprise at finding him 
self at the mercy of a 
Union soldier is ex 
pressing it mildly. 
But he offered no 
resistance and 
handed over his 
revolver. Just then 
a comrade ran up to 
Dunlavy. " My horse has been shot. Give me that of your prisoner," he said. 

Dunlavy made the officer dismount and accommodated his comrade. Then the 
two started for the rear, Dunlavy on horseback, the prisoner trotting along at 

The latter was far from relishing the hurried march and soon asked for a 
slower tempo. "I am very tired and worn out. Have been up all night," he 


Good naturedly the cavalryman slowed down. The Confederate made still 

another request. 

"Can t you get me a horse ? I d like to ride." 



But Dunlavy was not inclined to make further concessions. Why should I give 
him a horse ? he thought. And his reply to the question was a curt " No." 

Again the silence was broken by the prisoner. 

" Will you take me to General Pleasanton ? " he said. " I am personally acquaint 
ed with him." Becoming more confidential, he added : " Young man, I ll tell you 
who I am." 

He had not quite finished the sentence when Colonel C. W. Blair, of General 
Curtis staff, rode up and approached the prisoner. 

" I am General Marmaduke," the officer said, addressing the new-comer. 

It was now Private Dunlavy s turn to be surprised. He apologized to his distin 
guished prisoner and with all the politeness at his .disposal turned him over to 
Colonel Blair, who procured a horse for General Marmaduke and brought both 
prisoner and captor before General Curtis, who complimented Dunlavy and ordered 
him to the hospital. 


SOME of the most thrilling and inspiring incidents oc 
curred at the battle of Hatcher s Run, Va., October 
27, 1864. It was here that Private Alorizo Smith, of 
Company C, Seventh Michigan Infantry, performed an 
act of extraordinary daring. 

His regiment, in position on the edge of the woods, 
had not yet taken an active part in the great fight. 
Presently Private Smith s attention was drawn to a 
body of soldiers a short distance from him in the woods. 
Not knowing whether they were friend or foe he de 
cided to investigate for himself and started out to ascer 
tain their identity. When about thirty or forty rods from his own regimental line he 
satisfied himself that the soldiers were "Johnnies." They were approaching him so 


Private, Co. C, 7th Michigan Infantry, 
Born at Hartland, N. Y., August 9, 1842. 

Hatcher s Run, Va. The siege of Petersburg was in progress nearly four months, when, on the 27th 
of October, 1864, the Army of the Potomac began a movement to extend its lines to Hatcher s Run, Va., 
and to still further destroy the Weldon Railroad. The Second Army Corps and the Second Division of the 
Fifth Corps, with cavalry in advance and on the left flank, forced a passage at Hatcher s Run and moved along 
the railroad until the force of cavalry and the Second Corps had reached the Boydton Plank Road where it 
crosses the Run. At this point a bloody combat ensued between Hancock s and Warren s Corps and the 
Confederate forces, resulting in driving the enemy back into their works, after which the Union forces 
withdrew to their fortified lines. The Federal losses were about 1,200 in killed and wounded ; the Confed 
erate losses about 1,700. 



Private. Co. G, LSTth X. Y. Infantry. 
Born at Holland, N. Y., June 28, 1848. 

fast that he could not attempt to return to his regiment 
without risking detection. He therefore stepped behind a 
large elm tree, and with his gun loaded and bayonet fixed 
awaited their arrival. When they had come up to within 
a distance of about twenty feet from him Smith stepped 
from his place of hiding, faced the rebel squad and boldly 
demanded their surrender. The Confederates were com 
pletely taken by surprise by the sudden and wholly unex 
pected appearance of a Union soldier, but, nevertheless, 
showed little inclination to comply with the order. As 
Smith with increased determination repeated his order, 
an officer, the leader of the squad, inquired whether 
there were any Federal troops in the vicinity and whether 
he was able to enforce his demand for surrender. 

Pointing to the direction of his regiment, Smith replied : " There is a whole 
division of Union troops." At the same time he called to his comrades nearest to him 
to come to his assistance. The rebels now realized that they had imprudently 
strayed too close to the Union lines, and surrendered. Smith marched his prisoners 
out of the woods to his regiment, on the way relieving the re bel color-bearer of the 
Confederate flag. " I think," he observed facetiously, " I ll be the color-bearer for a 

His captain, George W. LaPoint, received him as he was marching his prisoners 
into camp, with a broad smile. "What have you been doing, Lon? " he asked. 
"Oh," Smith answered, "capturing a few prisoners and a flag." 

The regiment remained in position, which was far in ad 
vance of the brigade to which it belonged, all day. In the 
evening the brigade was withdrawn and an orderly was sent 
out to notify Captain LaPoint to follow the brigade. 

The orderly lost his way and failed to find the regiment, 
which subsequently was cut off from the main body by the 
advancing Confederates. Captain LaPoint and his brave men, 
however, maintained their perilous position all night, and 
starting out on their retreat early in the morning had to 
fight every inch of the ground on their way. Their retreat 
consumed over forty-eight hours, and had it not been for an 
old negro who piloted them through along a circuitous route, 
they would never have reached their destination. As it was 
the regiment had many a narrow escape from annihilation 

and more than once its capture seemed almost inevitable. At one time, when the 
situation looked almost hopeless and Confederates were crowding about the regiment 
from all sides, the men resolved to sell their lives as dearly as possible, and above all 


Sergeant, Co. 1, 1st TJ. S. 8. S. 

Born at Farmington, Mich., 

March 21, 1839. 


save the colors from falling into the hands of the enemy. Color-Sergeant James 
Donaldson took the State flag from the staff and wrapped it around his body under 
his clothing, while the national flag was cut into pieces and a star given to each 
man, the remaining pieces being distributed likewise. Thus the enemy could have 
only captured the colors after the death of the whole command and the search of 
the body of every soldier. 

The rebels were not equal to such heroic determination and in the final charge, 
although in overwhelming numbers, were repulsed and the brave Seventh Michigan 
regained the Federal lines. With Captain LaPoint on his retreat was a detachment 
of the First Minnesota Infantry under command of Captain J. C. Farwell. 

Another incident of this battle centers about a hand-to-hand fight between Ser 
geant Alonzo Woodruff and Corporal John M. Howard, of Company I, First United 
States Sharpshooters, and a body of rebels. 

General B. R. Pierce, who led the Second Brigade, Third Division, Second Army 
Corps, gives the following version of the occurrence, of which he was an eye 
witness : "I wish to call attention to the bravery displayed by Sergeant Alonzo 
Woodruff and Corporal John M. Howard. They were posted on the extreme left of 
the line as the enemy passed our left flank. 

"After discharging their rifles and being unable to reload, Corporal Howard ran 
and caught one of the enemy who seemed to be leading that part of the line. When he 
was overpowered and had received a severe wound through both legs, Sergeant Wood 
ruff went to his assistance. Clubbing his rifle, he had a desperate hand-to-hand 
struggle, but finally succeeded in freeing Corporal Howard and both made their 

A few minutes later Woodruff noticed a rebel marching a private of his company, 
N. J. Standard, who was wounded, away as a prisoner. 

What?" the gritty sergeant exclaimed, "The gall of those rebels !" 

And he jumped right among the rebels, rushed after his comrade and not only 
released Standard, but even turned the tables on his captor, making him a prisoner 
instead. However, the brave sergeant did not escape injury, and during the last 
encounter was severely wounded himself and forced to seek medical assistance as 
soon as he reached his lines. 

Mention also must be made of the deeds of Lieutenant Shannon and Private 
Charles A. Orr and John Williams, of Company G, One hundred and Eighty-seventh 
New York Infantry, who, when during this battle volunteers were asked for to 
rescue wounded men from between the lines, carried out their mission at the risk of 
their own lives. Originally thirty men had responded to the call for volunteers, but 
when it came to the execution of the task and the rebel fire was concentrated upon 
them twenty-seven abandoned the work, leaving only Orr and his two companions 
to bring help and aid to the wounded soldiers. 

They rescued a number of men and were universally praised for their heroic efforts. 




1st Lieutenant, Co. D, 9th N. Y. Cav. 
Highest rank attained: Brevet-Major. 
Born In New York City March 22, 1843. 

TN November, 1864, on the field where the famous 
1 battle of Cedar Creek was fought the preceding 
month, occurred a most remarkable race for life and 
liberty, one that speaks volumes for the hero and the 
endurance of the man he rescued in this wild chase. A 
squadron of the Ninth New York Cavalry, in command 
of Lieutenant Edwin Goodrich, was ordered to proceed 
up the Shenandoah Valley on a reconnoissance to ascer 
tain the whereabouts of the enemy. Soon after receiv 
ing his orders Lieutenant Goodrich had all in readiness, 
his eighty men comprising the squadron eagerly await 
ing the command to inarch. Diligent search failed to 
reveal any hostile forces until they had reached a place 

not far from Strasburg, Va., where a large force was suddenly encountered. As soon as 
Lieutenant Gooderich discovered the enemy s pickets he dispatched Sergeant Joseph 
N. Foster with a few men to drive them in, he and the remainder of his squadron follow 
ing up in their support. The enemy observed this move and immediately sent a force 
of 2,000 cavalry to the support of the pickets. 

Goodrich had ordered the charge to learn the strength of the rebels, and, having 
accomplished this, he sounded the retreat just in time to get a good start on the 
approaching enemy. Foster, who was among the last to fall back, felt his horse stag 
ger under him, from the effects of a wound, so he slipped out of the saddle and started 
on the retreat afoot. The horse, however, gathered himself together and overtook 
the fleeing men, whereupon Foster again mounted him. The wounded animal 
carried his man but a short distance at a rapid gait; then he began to lose ground 
and finally brought up the rear of the column, where, exhausted, he fell, pinning 
his rider to the ground. 

Goodrich saw Foster s plight and wheeling about he went to his assistance and 
hastily pulled him from under the wounded horse, leaving a boot behind. Having 
freed Foster, he immediately remounted ; none too soon, however, for the enemy 
were upon them, and spurring his charger on he dashed away with Foster clinging to 
the horse s tail. Goodrich reached back, took Foster by the hand and brought him 
alongside where he could get a good hold on his collar, and in this way almost 
carried him by main strength, running him and encouraging him to keep up. 
For six miles he carried and dragged him, with the enemy in close pursuit, firing, 
cursing and ordering him to surrender. The 2,000 pursuing cavalrymen and their 
rain of bullets, their shouting and their commands to surrender could not induce 
Goodrich to loose his hold on his comrade s collar. Awkward as the additional 



weight was, the gallant charger fled along the pike so swiftly that his rider felt 
secure in their ultimate safety. But this gait could not be maintained, and shortly 
after the enemy were fast closing in. At last one of Goodrich s men slowed down his 
horse and dropped back to the assistance of the heroic lieutenant. 

This young trooper rode alongside of Goodrich, bringing Foster, who by this time 
was completely exhausted, between the two horses, and while still in full flight they 
managed with much difficulty to swing him on the trooper s horse. 

Twelve miles were covered by these brave horsemen before the rebels gave up 
their chase, and so completely was Foster exhausted that when Winchester was 
reached he had to be taken to the hospital. 

During this exciting retreat, when exhaustion overcame Foster, he had begged 
Goodrich to leave him to his fate, as he could no longer keep up. But Goodrich 
could not be induced to loose his iron grasp on him. After all were safely within 
the Union lines Goodrich remarked : " Had the pursuers overtaken us while I was 
extricating Foster, there would have been little danger of our being taken prisoners, 
for the enemy were bunched so closely together in the narrow pike, and were 
coming on with such impetus, that we would have been trampled to death." 


THE following vivid description by Sergeant Henry F. 
W. Little, of Company D, Seventh New Hampshire 
Infantry, shows how much depends on the personal brav 
ery of the individual soldier in repulsing a charge of the 
enemy, and also illustrates the futility of a bayonet charge 
against a body of men well entrenched and armed with 
repeating rifles. 

" It was early on the morning of October 7, 1864," the 
sergeant says, " that our troops on the north side of the 
James River, Va., were aroused. We were quickly ordered 
into line to repel an attack. We found the cavalry under 
General Kautz coming toward us pell-mell, hotly pursued 
by the Confederates. We were at once advanced, the lines 
formed and thus we waited the onslaught. 

"Our line was without breastworks or protection of any kind and the Confeder 
ates pushed up to within a few rods of us. Our force was not large and our lines 


Sergeant, Company D, 7th New 

Hampshire Infantry. 

Born at Manchester, N. H., June 

27, 1842. 


extended so far that we were without support, and a wavering brigade or even the 
falling back of a single regiment on that line would probably have given the enemy an 
opportunity of taking everything before them on the north side of the James River. 

" Much depended on the individual bravery and the courage of the officers. As 
the rebels came rushing on I advised our men to keep cool and not fall back an inch, 
and had the gratification to see that during the subsequent events our boys above 
all others distinguished themselves for their calmness and the deadly accuracy of 
their fire. 

"The charge was desperately and handsomely made and energetically repulsed. 
Our brigade, which seemed to have been the objective point of the Confederate 
attack and had borne the brunt of the assault, was armed with Spencer repeating car 
bines, seven-shooters, and delivered so destructive a fire that it was impossible for the 
enemy to withstand its effect. The Confederate dead in our front, after the charge, 
lay in long lines only a few feet away, showing where their battalions had stood 
at the time of the clash, when they found it impossible to break through our ranks. 

"Many of the Confederates found it as much impossible to retreat as it was to 
advance, and preferred capture to almost inevitable death. The fight, although it 
lasted but a half hour, was extremely fierce and ended in a complete defeat of the 

Sergeant Little s gallant conduct on the skirmish line was such that it com 
mended itself to his superior officers and, later, was fittingly recognized by the 
award of the Medal of Honor. 


N the 30th day of November, 1864, at Honey Hill, S. C., 
First Lieutenant Orson W. Bennett, Company A, 
One hundred and second U. S. Colored Troops, received an 
order from his brother, General W. T. Bennett, chief of 
staff to General Hatch, in the following words : 
" Lieutenant, about 100 yards in advance of our lines, on an 
elevation near the road, and within 150 yards of the enemy s 
guns, there are three pieces of artillery which have been aban 
doned. You are ordered to bring them in. Fix bayonets and 
impress upon your men that they must not pay any attention 
to the enemy, but bring in the guns." 

Lieutenant Bennett at once selected thirty men to go with 
him to carry out the order, leaving the remainder of his com 
pany on the skirmish line. Then he gave the order, "Fix bayonets! Trail arms! 
Forward, double-quick march !" 


First Lieutenant. Co. A, 102d 

U. S. C. T. 
Highest rank attained: 


Born Nov. 17, 1841, at Union 
City, Branch Co., Mich. 


The little squad moved forward with great precision. The slight elevation of 
the land helped considerable in preventing the enemy from seeing the advance 
until the men were directly opposite the abandoned guns, partly screened by a 
fringe of low bushes. The guns were surrounded by dead and mangled men and 
horses, who had fallen in their defense. Lieutenant Bennett urged on his brave 
men to quick and concentrated action. Delay meant death. The men fully ap 
preciated the situation and obeyed like machines. At the "rally" they sprang for 
ward and seized the nearest gun. Lieutenant Bennett kept a watchful eye upon the 
Confederates, less than 200 yards distant. When he saw by their movements that 
they were about to fire their own guns he shouted to his men, "Down !" and they 
all dropped to the ground. A second later a shower of grape and canister went 
whizzing and shrieking over their heads. Instantly they sprang to their feet 
again, seized the trailer of one of the guns and dragged it safely to the Union lines. 
To secure the second was a more dangerous operation, for the enemy was aware of 
the movement and prepared to give Bennett s detachment a warm greeting. 

After resting his men a few moments Bennett again ordered an advance. Just 
before the Confederates fired he commanded his men to drop, which they did as 
promptly and neatly as before. Before the smoke cleared away the gallant colored 
soldiers were dragging the gun out of danger. 

Then Lieutenant Bennett and his men made a dash for the third gun, repeating 
the same tactics of dropping as the Confederates fired, and succeeded in landing it 
safely within the Union lines amid yells of disappointment from the enemy and 
cheers of enthusiastic approval from the Union troops. 

In performing this daring deed, only one of Lieutenant Bennett s men was 
wounded and none killed, and the achievement was the more brilliant by reason of 
the fact that a previous attack to save the guns had ended in a failure and cost a 
heavy loss to the command which made the attempt. 




Fourth Army Corps, sent by General Sherman to 
guard Nashville and Tennessee against an unexpected 
move of General Hood with a large Confederate army, 
reached Pulaski, Term., November 1, 1864. Then followed 
DAVID s STANLEY, a ser i es o f manoeuvres on the part of 18,000 Union soldiers 

Major-General U. S. Volunteers. . i i iij i p -n 

Bom in cedar valley, wayne against an overwhelming rebel iorce, numbering tully 

40,000. The clash came November 30th, when the battle 
of Franklin was fought. 

A description of this battle is given in the general s own words, as follows : 

"Early on the morning of the 29th General Wilson sent word to me that the 
enemy had laid a pontoon bridge at Huey s Mills. At 8 A. M. I started to Spring 
Hill with the First and Second Divisions, all the artillery that could be spared, and all 
the trains and ambulances to follow; at the same time areconnoissance was sent up the 
river and soon sent word back that the enemy was crossing infantry and wagons and 
moving off rapidly to the north and parallel to the turnpike. It being apprehended 
that the enemy might make a flank attack upon the position of our force between 
Duck River and Rutherford s Creek, the First Division was halted and took up posi 
tion to cover the crossing of the creek. At 11:30 o clock the head of the Second 
Division was within two miles of Spring Hill. A cavalry soldier, who seemed badly 
scared, was met here and stated that a scout had come in from the direction of 
Raleigh Hill and reported that Buford s Division of rebel cavalry was half way be 
tween Raleigh Hill and Spring Hill and on the march to the latter place. The Second 
Division was pushed on, and, attracted by the firing east of the village, double- 
quicked into the place and deployed the leading brigade as they advanced, drove off 
a force of the enemy s cavalry which was driving our small force of cavalry and in 
fantry, and would very soon have occupied the town. 

"Up to this time it was thought that we had only cavalry to contend with, but a 
general officer and his staff, at whom we sent some complimentary shells, were seen 
reconnoitering our position and very soon afterward General Bradley was assailed by 
a force which the men said fought too well to be any dismounted cavalry. 

" I received General Schofield s dispatch about the same time, telling me that the 
rebels had been crossing the river, and leaving no doubt but that we now confronted 
a superior force of rebel infantry. About the same time an attack was made upon 
a small wagon train by rebel cavalry at Reynolds Station, three miles toward Frank 
lin, and simultaneously the rebel cavalry appeared west of us and threatened the 
railroad station of Spring Hill. Thus we were threatened and attacked from every 
direction. As night closed we could see the enemy rapidly extending his line and by 


eight o clock it was evident that at least a Corps of Hood s Army was formed in line 
of battle, facing the turnpike, and at a near distance of but little more than half a 
mile from it. It was determined to push our way to Franklin. At one o clock in 
the morning of the 30th the train commenced to pull out. The number of wagons, 
including artillery and ambulances, was about 800. At the very starting point they 
had to pass singly over a bridge, and it was exceedingly doubtful whether the train 
could be put on the road by daylight. Unless this could be done, and the corps put 
in motion, we were sure of being attacked by daylight and compelled to fight un 
der every disadvantage. I was strongly advised to burn the train and move on with 
the troops and such wagons as could be saved, but I determined to make an effort 
to save the train. My staff officers were busily engaged hurrying up teamsters and 
everything promised well when we w ere again thrown into despair by the report 
that the train had been attacked north of Thompson s Station and its progress 
had been stopped altogether. It was now three o clock in the morning. General 
Kimball was directed to push on with the First Division and clear the road. Gen 
eral Wood s Division had covered the road and was directed to move on, keeping off 
the road and on the right flank of the train, and General Wagner s Division, al 
though wearied by the fighting of the day before, was detailed to bring up the rear. 
Before Kimball s Division could reach the point at which the train was attacked 
Major Steele, of my staff, had gotten up a squad of our stragglers and driven off the 
rebels, who had succeeded in burning about ten wagons. 

" The trains moved on again, and at about five o clock I had the satisfaction of see 
ing the last wagon pass the small bridge. The entire corps was on the road before 
daylight. The rebel cavalry was in possession of all the hills to our right, and made 
numerous demonstrations upon our flank, but were easily driven off. 

"From one o clock until four in the afternoon the enemy s entire force was in sight 
and forming for attack ; yet, in view of our own strong positions and reasoning from 
the former course of the rebels during this campaign, nothing appeared so improb 
able as that they would assault. I felt so confident in this belief that I did not leave 
General Schofield s headquarters until the firing commenced. About four o clock 
the enemy advanced with his whole force, at least two corps, making a bold and 
persistent assault. When Wagner s Division fell back from the heights south of 
Franklin, Opdycke s Brigade was placed in reserve in rear and Lane s and Conrad s 
Brigades were deployed in the front of our main line. Here the men, as our men 
always do, threw up a barricade of rails. By whose mistake I cannot tell, these 
brigades had orders not to retire to the main line until forced to do so by the fight 
ing of the enemy. The consequence was that the brigades stood their ground until 
the charging rebels were almost crossing bayonets with them, but the line then 
broke and men and officers made the quickest time they could to our main lines. 
The old soldiers all escaped, but many of the conscripts, being afraid to run under 
fire, were captured. A large proportion of the men came back with loaded mus 
kets, and turning at the breastworks fired a volley into the pressing rebels, not ten 


steps from them. The part of the Twenty-third Corps stationed in the works broke 
and ran to the rear with the fugitives from Conrad s Brigade. To add to this dis 
order, the caissons of the two batteries in the works galloped rapidly to the rear and 
the enemy appeared on the breastworks and in possession of the two batteries, which 
they commenced to turn upon us. 

" It was at this moment that I arrived on the scene of disorder. The moment 
was critical beyond any I have known in any battle. Colonel Opdycke s Brigade was 
lying down about 100 yards in the rear of the works. I rode quickly to the left of 
the brigade and called to them to charge ; at the same time I saw Colonel Opdycke 
near the centre of his line urging his men forward. I gave the Colonel no order, as 
I saw him engaged in doing the very thing to save us, viz., to get possession of our 
line again. The retreating men commenced to rally. I heard old soldiers call out : 
Come on, men ; we can go wherever the general can ! 

"Making a rush our men immediately retook all our line, excepting a small por 
tion just in front of a brick house on the pike. Here a rebel force held out and for 
fifteen or twenty minutes poured in a severe fire upon our men. So deadly 
was the fire that it was only by the most strenuous exertions of the officers that our 
men could be kept to the line. Our exertions, however, succeeded, and in twenty 
minutes our front was comparatively clear of rebels, who fell back. Just after the 
retaking of the lines by our troops, as I was passing toward the left to General Cox s 
position, my horse was killed, and no sooner had I regained my feet than I received 
a musket ball through the back of my neck. My wound, however, did not prevent 
my keeping the field, and General Cox kindly furnished me a remount. One hund 
red wagon loads of ammunition, artillery and musket cartridges were expended in 
this short battle. 

" In the evening it was determined to withdraw to Nashville and the troops were 
directed to leave the line at midnight. Some villain came very near frustrating 
this plan by firing a house in Franklin ; the flames soon spread, and the prospect 
was that a large fire would occur, which, lighting up objects, would make it impos 
sible to move the troops without being seen. My own and General Wood s staff 
officers found an old fire engine, and getting it at work soon had the flames subdued, 
the darkness now being intensified by the smoke. At midnight the withdrawal was 
made successfully and the march to Nashville continued without interruption. Our 
men were more exhausted, however, than I have ever seen them on any occasion ; 
many of them were overtaxed, broke down on the march and fell into the hands of 
the enemy, and altogether we were glad when our destination Nashville was 
finally reached." 




First Lieutenant. Co. L, 10th 

Ohio Cavalry. 
Highest rank attained : 


Born in Lexington, O., June 
8, 1843. 

ENERAL WHEELER S position at Waynesboro, Ga., at the 
beginning of December, 1864, was chosen with the ut 
most caution in the roughest and most inaccessible locality 
with a special view of affording protection against a sabre 
charge. General Kilpatrick was ordered to pursue Wheeler 
and engage him wherever he would meet him. In com 
pliance with this order the Federal cavalry leader moved 
on to Waynesboro Road, and on December 4 engaged Gen 
eral Wheeler s rebel forces. The Confederates had dismounted 
and w r ere behind heavy rail barricades. 

The Federal troops were preparing for the attack and were 
anxiously waiting for the charge to be sounded. The com 
manding officer of one of the cavalry regiments had just been wounded when First 
Lieutenant David L. Cockley, acting aide-de-camp to General S. D. Atkins, brought 
the instruction to make the charge. Noting the hesitation of the troops, Lieutenant 
Cockley asked for permission to lead this regiment. The request was at first 
refused, General Atkins preferring to have the young lieutenant at his side so as to 
be able to use his valuable services. Cockley felt chagrined. Again, and still more 
urgently, he made the request. " I need your services," Colonel Atkins repeated and 
again refused. For a third time Cockley repeated his request and so earnestly 
pleaded to be allow r ed to participate in the fight that the colonel could no longer re 
sist and yielded to the wishes of his brave aide-de-camp. The charge was sounded. 
The whole line moved forward in splendid order and never halted for one moment 
until, in less than twenty minutes, five lines of barricades were taken and the 
enemy were completely routed and driven back into the town of Waynesboro. 
Here a countercharge stopped, for a short time, the advance of the Federals, but 
soon another attack was made and the rebels were driven in wild confusion through 
and out of the town. A most notable victory had been gained by the Federal cavalry 
against a much stronger force. 

Lieutenant Cockley was at the head of the regiment. When during the height 
of the attack and after having passed the second barricade Captain S. E. Norton, 
who commanded the first battalion, fell, mortally wounded, Cockley took his place 
and gallantly led the men to victory. No more than five of his brave followers 
were left with him when he finally stopped his dash. His conduct earned for him 
the Medal of Honor, especially since only two weeks prior to this battle he had 
achieved a feat in a battle episode which attracted the attention of his superior 

The Second Brigade, Third Cavalry Division, to which the Tenth Ohio Cavalry 
belonged, had left Marietta and was on the road to Bear Creek Station, Ga., pursuing 


Wheeler s cavalrymen. On November 15th, while near East Point, the brigade com 
mander, Colonel Atkins, sent Lieutenant Cockley ahead to select a locality suitable 
for camp purposes. This had been done by Cockley, who was returning to his lines 
when he suddenly found the road blocked by four rebels. With quick determina 
tion the lieutenant gave the command to charge to his orderly, his only companion, 
and made a dash for the Confederates, who were so completely surprised that they 
threw up their hands in token of surrender when ordered to do so. Cockley 
marched them to headquarters to receive the expressions of appreciation and con 
gratulations from the colonel. 



Private, Company L. Fourth Pennsyl 
vania Cavalry. 
Born in Pittsburg, Pa., Sept. 14, 1844. 

T NCITED by the loss of his horse Private Michael Sowers, 
* of Company L, Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry, fought 
at Stony Creek Station, Va., December 1, 1864, with such 
fury and rage that he attracted general attention, and, 
being one of the first to storm the enemy s stronghold, 
became the hero of the day. 

" Tt was like this," Private Sowers says in telling of 
the incident ; " my regiment and the Sixteenth Penn 
sylvania Cavalry were marched down the public road 
to a distance of about 500 yards from the fort, which 
was built of mud and logs. Then we separated, the 
Sixteenth going to the right, we to the left, to make 
a simultaneous attack. We charged. All of a sudden my horse dropped forward 
on his knees to rise no more. That was the third horse killed under me within a 
short time, I was mad as a hornet and, resolving to make some rebels pay for this 
last loss, slipped off the back of the gallant little animal, took my Spencer and, 
running ahead of the encircling cavalry, made for the fort. Of course, I had no 
right to do that; but I was enraged and had but one object in view, to get even with 
those infernal Johnnies who were killing my horses. A lot of grape and canister 
came my way, but not close enough to injure me, so on I went right into the fort. 
I do not claim that I was the first one to enter upon rebel ground I was too ex 
cited to look about me. I do know, however, that I was one of the first, and that as 
soon as I was inside of the fort I emptied my gun into the rebels with telling effect. 
The Sixteenth Pennsylvania stormed the fort from the other side, and together we 
made ourselves masters of the rebel stronghold." 

On the 1st of December, 1864, Grant sent General Gregg s cavalry on a reconnoissance to discover 
whether the enemy were moving troops south. Gregg captured Stony Creek Station, Va., that day, 
burning 3,000 sacks of corn, 600 bales of hay, a train of cars, and a large amount of ammunition, and 
brought off 190 prisoners, while his own loss was very small. 



Corporal, Co. G, Second Illinois 

L. A. 

Born in Rutland County, Vermont, 
Nov. 1,1842. 

LJ E stood manfully at his post," This splendid tribute 
* * is quoted from the records relating to the award of 

the Medal of Honor to Corporal Samuel J. Churchill, of 

Company G, Second Illinois Light Artillery. 

He won it December 15, 1864, when General Thomas 

made an attack upon the rebel army under General Hood, 

near Nashville, Tenn. 

The battery to which Churchill belonged was in position 

on high ground, 200 yards from and directly in front of the 

rebel battery. Churchill himself commanded a twelve- 
pound Napoleon gun served by eight men. The Confederates worked their pieces 
with deadly accuracy, several men and horses being killed before Churchill s Battery 
succeeded in taking the desired position a few feet to the right of a large brick 

The firing continued and seemed to increase both in frequency and certainty of 
aim. But now the Union Batteries opened and replied as effectively as that of the 

At Churchill s gun a cannoneer at the command of "Load !" took the sponge- 
staff, sponged the gun and waited for his comrade to come up with the cartridge. 
Just then a volley from the rebel battery enshrouded the gun and the waiting can 
noneer became panic-stricken. He dropped his sponge-staff and ran behind the 
brick house. His terror spread to the other cannoneers and they likewise fled, 
leaving the corporal alone at his post. Neither entreaty nor command could in 
duce the men to return. But Churchill never wavered. Regardless of the rain of 
shot and shell he stuck to his place and assumed the duties and functions of his 
skulking command. He loaded and fired his gun eleven times without any assist 
ance whatever, thereby helping to silence the Confederate Battery and contribut 
ing his share to the glorious achievements of the Union Army of that day. 




Captain, Company D, Fifty- 
First Indiana Infantry. 
Highest rank attained : 


Born at Clarksburg, Indiana. 
Nov. 13, 1839. 

"THE second day of the battle of Nashville, Tenn., De 
cember 16, 1864, which resulted in the complete 
victory of the Federal armies, began with a concerted 
attack in the afternoon all along the lines upon the for 
tified position of the enemy. Colonel P. Sidney Post, 
commanding the Second Brigade, Third Division, was 
ordered to charge the Confederate right at Overtoil Hill> 
and upon receipt of the order at once led his troops to the 
assault. When within about 100 yards of the enemy s works the 
gallant colonel was shot, and his men, thinking their leader killed, 
became terror-stricken and dropped to the ground. Two advanced 
lines of Colonel Abel D. Straight s Brigade came up and reaching 
the prostrate troops followed their example, likewise dropping to 
the ground. Next came the Fifty-first Indiana Infantry, led by 
Captain Marion T. Anderson. As he came upon the preceding 
troops he asked some of the officers why their men were lying down. The reply 
was : "Because those in our front did the same thing." 

"Why don t you order them up and forward ? " Captain Anderson inquired. 
"We have ; but they won t go," was the answer. 

"Well," Captain Anderson observed, "I won t lie down here. I will take my 
men forward and obey orders." 

He gave the order: "Charge bayonets; double- 
quick." And a\vay he led his men over the bodies of 
the prostrate troops, up the hill and against the enemy s 
last line of works on the crest, forcing the rebels to 
abandon half of their guns and retreat in utter con 

While riding at the head of his regiment the brave 
captain w r as struck by a sharpshooter s bullet, and 
severely wounded, fell almost into the abandoned and 
captured trenches. 

The attack on the Confederate left was made by the 
troops commanded by Generals A. J. Smith and John 
M. Schofield, and resulted in gaining possession of the 
Granny White Pike and cutting off the enemy s retreat. 
This assault, too, was met by the Confederates with a tremendous fire of grape 
and canister and musketry, and put the bravery of the Union men to hard test. 
Several incidents occurred w r hich attracted general attention and won praise for the 
heroes of the entire Federal Army. 


First Lieutenant Co. C, llth Missouri 


Born in Green County, 111., January 
29, 1843. 


One of these incidents is related by First Lieutenant William T. Simmons, of 
Company C, Eleventh Missouri Infantry : "Our division was massed to the right of 
Granny White Pike the direct route from Nashville to Franklin about 400 yards 
in front of Hood s center. My regiment was in our second line about four o clock 
in the afternoon. Just before the assault all the boys in my company as well as 


myself were commenting upon a 
Confederate flag (the stars and bars) 
planted on the enemy s entrenchment 
directly in our front. Several of us 
had remarked, banteringly, that we would 
have the flag before dark, when the order came 
to assault. From the beginning we had been under 
a heavy fire of musketry and artillery, but as we started 

forward the regiment in our immediate front wavered and became somewhat broken 
up under the murderous fire, so that my regiment pressed forward and, passing 
them, dashed on about 200 yards. A moment later my captain fell. I was left 
in command of the company, and leaving my place as file closer I sprang to the 
front and led the way, making straight for the flag. Being an exceptionally 
speedy runner at the time, I was first to reach the breastworks, and demanded the 
surrender of the colors. The Confederate sergeant attempted to run away with the 
prize and I was compelled to shoot, wounding him and thereby securing the flag." 



No LESS a personage than Major-General James H. Wilson was the sponsor for 
the distinction bestowed upon First Lieutenant Joseph S. Hedges, of whom he 
says : " He was as good a soldier as I ever knew and would never ask his men to 
go where he did not actually lead them." 

Lieutenant Hedges was a member of the Fourth U. S. Cavalry, and at Little 
Harpeth River, Term., on the evening of December 17, 1864, under the direction 
and personal observation of General Wilson, made a charge upon a rebel force 
which elicited the admiration of the Union commander, who after the battle " took 
great pleasure " in commending the lieutenant and personally secured for him the 
Medal of Honor. 

The general himself gives this version of the noted charge : 

" It was directed straight against a field battery in action at the center of the 
line of infantry in line of battle and was one of the best and most successful charges 
of cavalry it was ever my fortune to witness. Lieutenant Hedges, serving as my 
escort, rode along, leading his gallant regiment down the turnpike head-on against 
the battery, broke through it, sabred the gunners, captured or caused the abandon 
ment of three guns, and continued his pursuit, spreading terror and confusion among 
the enemy until stopped by darkness. It is the only case I know of in which a 
cavalry regiment charged and broke through a Confederate line of battle composed 
of infantry and artillery in action and captured the guns." 



EYE-WITNESSES pronounce the feat of First Lieutenant 
William H. Walling at Fort Fisher, N. C., Decem 
ber 25, 1865, as among the most daring achievements of 
the entire campaign. The lieutenant s superiors and 
generals commanding were especially profuse in their 
commendation of his bravery, from Major-General Ben 
jamin F. Butler, Brigadier-General A. Ames, Brevet 
Brigadier-General N. W. Curtis, Major-General 
Godfrey Weitzel to Lieutenant-Colonel Albert M. 
Barney, of the One hundred and forty-second New 
York Infantry, of which organization Lieutenant 
Walling was a member. General Curtis even went 
so far as to say that it was "one of the most gallant 

exploits of the war." In fact, in view of the universal praise, Lieutenant Walling s 
deed stands out boldly as the one redeeming feature in an otherwise unfortunate 
undertaking, as the first attempt to take Fort Fisher has been characterized. 


First Lieutenant. Co. C,142d 

New York Infantry. 

Highest rank attained: Lt-Col. 

Born at Hartford. K. Y., 

Sept. 3, ISM. 


"Fort Fisher," says General Weitzel, "was a square bastioned work; it had a 
high relief, a wide and deep ditch, excepting on the sea front, a glacis, casements 

and bomb-proofs sufficiently large 
to hold its garrison. I counted 
seventeen guns in position bear 
ing up the beach and between 
each pair of guns there was a 
traverse so thick and so high 
above the parapet that I had no 
doubt they were all bomb-proofs. 
A stockade ran from the northeast 
angle of the counterscarps of the 
works to the water s edge on the 

" The expedition, led by Gen 
eral Butler, with a force of 6,500, 
embarked at Bermuda Hundred, 
Va., for Fortress Monroe, Decem 
ber 8th. In order to mislead the 
Confederate scouts and signal 
men as to the real object of the 
movement, the fleet carrying the 
troops took up one direction dur 
ing the day and a different one 
at night, and on December 24th 
came in sight of Fort Fisher, 
where the naval fleet under Ad 
miral Porter was already engaged 
in bombarding it. About noon 
the following day the troops, 
under cover of the gunboats, 
effected a landing. General Cur 
tis at once pushed up his bri 
gade to within a few hundred 
yards of the fort, captured a 
rebel work, called Half -Moon 
Fort, containing a 20 -pounder 

"SECURED THE FLAG AND RETURNED UNINJURED." g un > and Captured about 100 


" The onward movement was continued till the brigade s main line of skirmishers 
was within 150 paces of the fort, capturing in the advance another important out 
work, which also contained a large gun. During all the time that this advance was 


made the navy kept up a very heavy and well directed assault, which, however, did 
little material damage to the fortification. The rebels were nowhere in sight, but 
kept in their casements as long as the shells were being thrown from the Union 
vessels. At the same time the fire prevented the troops from further advancing 
and attempting to storm the works. The minute, however, the navy would cease 
throwing shells, the rebels would emerge from their places of safety, mount the 
parapets, work their guns and pour such withering fire upon the Federals that all 
further progress was stopped and the help and aid of the naval fleet had to be called 
in again, when the Confederates would immediately withdraw to their bomb-proofs." 

Three companies of the One hundred and forty-second New York Infantry 
were in this most advanced line of skirmishers, and the leading company, C, was 
commanded by the aforementioned Lieutenant Walling. 

" I was just stationing my men," he says in describing the most interesting inci 
dent of the attack, " being ordered to protect them from the fire of the fleet, and 
had them scoop out the sand and make gopher holes to lie in, when a large shell 
from one of the monitors struck the ground near us, ploughing a trench so deep that 
some of our men took refuge therein, the shell ricochetting into the river beyond. 
Another shot from the fleet cut down the Confederate flag on the fort. 

"I said to my men : Til go and get the flag; you keep a sharp lookout for the 
riflemen on the works. Let every man have his gun in position to fire. 

" We will, Lieutenant ; we will ! came the response from my men as with one 
voice. I started off. I had gone but a few steps when one of the great monitor 
shells passed in front of me and exploded before reaching the river. I confess I 
was frightened, and for an instant halted involuntarily, stunned by the fearful crash. 
But, quickly recovering my wits, I proceeded and came to a place where a shell had 
cut a hole in the palisade a little to the left of the flag. Through this opening 1 
entered, passed along toward the river, gained the parapet, secured the flag and re 
turned, uninjured as I had gone, to the picket line." 

And thus was Lieutenant Walling the only Union man who in that expedition 
had set his foot upon the rebel stronghold. 

First Assault on Fort Fisher, N. C. During the latter part of December, 1864, an expedition composed 
of naval and military forces sailed from Hampton Roads to gain the harbor of Wilmington, IT. C., and 
reduce its chief defense, Fort Fisher. 

Admiral Porter was in command of the naval forces, with General Butler in command of the land 
forces. The latter conceived the idea of blowing up an old vessel loaded with 235 pounds of powder, 
directly in front of the fort, with a view of throwing the enemy into confusion and then attacking the fort. 
The powder boat was towed to its position, and on the night of the 23d the fuse ignited ; but the result, 
instead of being a gigantic explosion, was only a blaze lighting the heavens. Very little concussion was 
felt, and all that could be heard was a dull detonation. 

On the 25th the troops were landed and pushed close to the fort, but Butler failed to move with 
energy, feeling that the works could not be carried by assault, and deliberately abandoned the enterprise 
and returned to Fortress Monroe with his troops the following day. 




FTER General Butler s 
failure to capture 
Fort Fisher, N. C., a sec 
ond expedition was decid 
ed upon and entrusted 

to General 

Alfred H. 

Terry, with 

orders to 

take the 



First Lieutenant. Co. F, 97th 

Pennsylvania Infantry. 
Highest rank attained: Colonel. 

ing, Va., January 5, 1865. 

Private. Co. K. 142nd New York 


Born at Palatine Bridge, N. Y., 
Dec. 9, 1830. 

stronghold by storm if he could, 
by a siege if he must. This ex 
pedition left Bermuda Land- 
General Terry had with him an army of 8,457 men picked 
from the several army corps, the flower of the Union forces. As on the former 
occasion, Admiral Porter was instructed to co-operate with his ships. After some 
difficulty, due mainly to rough weather and a heavy surf, a landing was effected 
January 13th. The 8,000 men with three days rations in their haversacks and forty 
rounds of ammunition in their boxes, six days supply of hard bread in bulk, ten 
pieces of artillery, 300,000 additional rounds of small arm ammunition and the neces 
sary number of entrenching tools and implements, were safely brought on shore. 

Picket lines were immediately thrown out and shots exchanged with the enemy s 
outposts, but no serious damage was done to either side in these preliminary skir 

General Terry s first object after landing was to throw a strong defensive line 
across the peninsula from the Cape Fear River to the sea, so as to have the rear 
protected. This was accomplished, though it consumed the entire day and was not 
completed late at night. 

Second Assault on Fort Fisher, N. C. After the dismal attack on Fort Fisher, December 23-25, 1864, both 
Grant and Porter were anxious to renew the assault. A plan was arranged whereby Porter was to continue 
to hold his position in front of the fort while General Terry was to attack with his land forces under the 
fire of Porter s ships. 

The attack was made on the 13th of January with a vigorous fire from Porter s whole fleet, and in a 
short time Terry s troops gained the inside of the fort, which consisted of a system of bomb-proofs surrounded 
by a large fortification. Here the fighting was very severe ; but being compelled to yield one traverse after 
another the rebels were driven out and a complete victory won. The losses of the Federals, however, were 
quite heavy, numbering nearly 1,000 killed and wounded. The Confederates lost 2,500 in killed, wounded 
and missing. 


On the 14th entrenchments were dug, breastworks reaching from the river to the 
sea constructed and covered by abatis and a firm foothold on the peninsula secured. 
The assault was planned for the following day at 3 o clock in the afternoon. In the 
meantime Admiral Porter was to pour a steady and destructive fire into the fort 
and demolish the palisades as much as possible, and furnish an opening for the 
advancing troops. Accordingly the admiral s guns began to roar at sundown and 
continued all night. Early the following morning, January 15th, all of the vessels, 
except a division left to aid in the defense of the northern line, moved into position 
and a fire, magnificent alike for its power and accuracy, was opened upon the fort. 
Under the protection of this fire General Terry manoeuvred and moved his troops 
in preparation for the great final assault so skillfully that toward the afternoon he 
had a body of 100 daring sharpshooters, sheltered in pits, within 175 yards of the 
enemy s works, firing at the parapets of the fort. Another and much larger body of 
troops was brought up to within 475 yards of the fort. 

Shortly after 3 o clock, all arrangements having been completed, the signal for 
the attack was given. Admiral Porter, as agreed, at once changed the direction of 
his fire and thus diverted the enemy s attention from the main points of attack. 
The troops sprang from their trenches and, exposed to a severe fire from the fort, 
dashed forward at double-quick. The ground over which they passed was marshy 
and difficult, but they soon reached the palisades, passed through them and effected 
a lodgment on the parapet. At the same time a column of sailors and marines 
advanced up the beach and attacked the northeastern bastion, but was met with such 
a murderous fire that it was unable to get up the parapet and after a severe struggle 
and heavy loss was compelled to withdraw. 

A foothold having been secured on the parapet troops were sent to re-enforce the 
advanced lines, and slowly but irresistibly the rebels were driven from one position 
after the other. Hand-to-hand fighting of the most desperate character took place, 
the huge traverses of the land face being used successively by the enemy as breast 
works, over the tops of which the contending parties fired in each others faces. 
Nine of these traverses were carried by the attacking force. The fire of the navy 
upon that portion of the works not captured by the Federals continued until about 
dusk, when the two remaining traverses were carried and the fort was captured ; 
captured with all its surviving defenders, about 2,000 officers and men, including 
Major-General Whiting and Colonel Lamb, the commandant of the fort. In addition 
large quantities of ammunition and commissary stores fell into the victors hands. 

The scenes toward the close of the battle were indescribably horrible. Great 
cannon lay in ruins, surrounded by the bodies of their defenders ; men were found 
partly buried in graves dug by the shells which had slain them. The outlines of 
the works could now and then be seen by the flash of an exploding shell or the blaze 
of musketry, but indistinct as the creation of some hideous dream. Soldiers were 
falling everywhere, shot in the head by rifle-balls. There was no outcry ; simply a 
spurt of blood and all was over. But death does not always come in this way. There 


arose now and then an agonizing clamor of wounded men, writhing in the sand, 
beseeching those near them to end their suffering. A color-bearer had fallen, and 
though choked by blood and sand, he murmured : "I am gone. Take the flag." An 
officer who had been shot through the heart retained a nearly erect position, leaning 
against a gun-carriage. Some lay face downward in the sand, and others who had 
been close together when struck by an exploding shell had fallen in a confused 
mass, forming a mingled heap of broken limbs and mangled bodies. At times a grim 
and uncanny humor seizes a wounded man. Captain A. G. Lawrence, of General 
Ames staff, lay on his back ; one arm had been amputated, and the other arm as 
well as his neck was pierced by rifle-balls. He had told the chaplain to write his 
father that he could not live, and then, calling another officer to him, whispered, as 
he held up the stump of his amputated arm : " Isn t this a devil of a bob-tail flush ? " 

That there were many deeds of extraordinary merit and valor performed by the 
men who won one of the most brilliant successes of the war goes without saying. 
However, the conduct of First Lieutenant John Wainwright of Company F, Ninety- 
seventh Pennsylvania Infantry, in command of the three hundred men of his regi 
ment who participated in the expedition, Private Zachariah C. Neahr of Company 
K, One hundred and forty-second New York Infantry, General N. M. Curtis and 
Colonel Galusha Pennypacker, of the Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania Infantry, was so 
conspicuous as to earn for them the Medal of Honor. 

Brevet Brigadier-General Curtis, though in command of the First Brigade, 
Second Division, Twenty-fourth Army Corps, took up a musket, and, stepping into 
the ranks, led his men in each of the assaults, braving the storm of rebel shot and 
shell. The uniform of a brigadier-general in the ranks made him a conspicuous 
object and the rebels concentrated their fire upon him, wounding him three times. 
These wounds, however, did not deter the general, and he fought throughout the 
remainder of the day, until shortly before dark, when he fell, wounded a fourth 
time, and so severely that he had to be carried to the rear. 

Colonel Pennypacker, commanding the second brigade of the same division, like 
wise encouraged his men by personally leading them. He had gallantly led them 
to the third traverse and with the colors of one of his regiments in hand was the 
first to mount it. Amidst a hail of the enemy s bullets he bravely planted the colors 
on their works, but while doing this he was severely wounded. Lieutenant Wain 
wright, commanding the Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania Infantry, also displayed 
wonderful courage in leading his regiment, even after he was severely wounded in 
the assault. He pluckily concealed from his men the pain he was suffering and with 
renewed energy he led them on to victory, retiring to the hospital only after the 
day s fighting was done. 

Private Neahr, who had volunteered with a number of others of his regiment to cut 
the palisading, rushed up ahead of the column and with the fire of the enemy con 
centrated upon him, cut it down, thus enabling the assaulting column to pass through. 

Painted by C. D. Graves. 





First Lieut., U.S. Colored Inf. 

Highest rank attained: 

Brev. Major Vols. 

Born in Brooklyn, N. Y., 

Nov. 18, 1844. 

TT WAS at the beginning of January, 1865. General Butler, 
commanding the Army of the James, was expected to reach 
and capture Richmond by operating on the south side of the 
James River. His movements were blocked by the sinking of 
obstructions w r hich rendered it impossible for him to navigate 
the stream, and by a powerful Confederate battery at French 

To overcome these difficulties the resourceful Butler had 
caused a canal to be cut through the Dutch Gap peninsula, so 
that the enemy s batteries could be flanked and the obstructions 
in the river passed by the navy. 

Nothing remained to be done but remove the great earthen bulkhead that sepa 
rated the two bodies of water. This had been sapped and galleried, and more powder 
was packed away in it than was used in blowing up the famous "Crater" at Peters 
burg. The main body of troops had been drawn off from the neighborhood of the 
vast mine for safety, and it was supposed that none had been left behind but the few 
whose duty it was to light the fuse and then escape. 

The supreme moment had arrived. The fuse had been lighted, and the officers 
were standing in a group at a safe distance discussing the question whether the 
work was to be crowned with success. 

A member of General Butler s staff galloped up and shouted excitedly : 
" Has the guard opposite the bulkhead been withdrawn ? " 
Somebody answered, hardly articulately, rather with a sort of gasp : 

There was a score of men in the guard. There were tons of powder beside them. 
Fire was eating its way up the fuse and might at any second set loose the terrific 
force of the mine. 

The bravery of the officers before whose minds those thoughts flashed could not 
l)e doubted it had been proved too often for that but to go and warn the squad 
seemed so utterly beyond reason, so surely a useless throwing away of another life, 
that they stood there rigid and pale, with one exception Walter Thorn, first 
lieutenant of the IT. S. Colored Infantry, who hesitated, but only long enough to 
form a resolve. Then he dashed off in the direction of the bulkhead. 

Perceiving his intention, his fellow officers called to him to return warned him, 
pleaded with him. Paying no heed, he ran on, reached the bulkhead, climbed to 
its summit, faced the storm of bullets that the rebels directed at him, and stood 
there until he had ordered the picket guard to flee to a place of safety. 


He leaped from the top of the mine ; the explosion took place ; the earth was 
scattered in all directions and a great abyss remained, but the young lieutenant 
was unharmed. 

"It was as deliberate an act of self-sacrifice and valor as was ever performed in 
our country or any other," said one of his superior officers. 


IT AVING driven Hood from Nashville, General Thomas 
* * lost no time in sending detachments of cavalry 
after the fleeing Confederates, who, scattering in differ 
ent directions, were trying to find their respective ways 
back to Selma, Mobile or the Carolinas. Because of 
continuous rains and subsequent bad roads, the pursuit 
undertaken by the bodies of infantry, as accessory to 
the cavalry operations, was stopped early in January, 
1865, at Eastport, Miss. 

Among the forces of Union cavalry thus sent to the 
south was the Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, in command 
of Colonel William J. Palmer, he having been directed on 
the 13th to march in pursuit of the rebel General Lyon, 
who was thought to have crossed the Paint Rock River. 
As most of his horses w r ere much fagged from a previous 
expedition, Colonel Palmer took with him only 180 men. 
At 4 A. M. on the 24th, after having learned that Lyon had passed through Warren- 
ton and would probably bivouac the same night at Red Hill, Colonel Palmer started 
for that place and surprised his camp of 350 men. One battalion of fifty men, in 
command of Lieutenant-Colonel Lamborn, had first been detached to take one of 
Lyon s regiments, which was encamped with its artillery near Red Hill, a second 
battalion to take a camp of 150 men one mile from there, while Palmer and the 
remaining battalion pushed on to capture Lyon, who was quartered with his staff 
and escort at the house of Tom Noble, half a mile beyond. The advance guard 
reached Lyon s headquarters and captured him at the door of Noble s house, in his 
night clothes. The general surrendered to Sergeant Arthur P. Lyon while the 
advance guard was charging the escort, but begged permission to put on his panta 
loons, coat and boots, which Sergeant Lyon granted, accompanying him into the 
bedroom for that purpose. At that moment the escort fired a volley at the advance 
guard, when the sergeant said : " Come, General, I can t allow you much more 
time." The general then suddenly seized a pistol and shot the sergeant, killing him 

**&fo>) ! *--- Ny* 


Colonel, 15th Penn a Cavalry. 
Highest rank attained : Brevet 

Brig. -General. 

Born.Kinsdale Farm, Kent Co., Del., 
Sept. 13. 1836. 


instantly, and made his escape through the back door in the dark. Colonel Palmer 
pushed on in the direction of other camp fires which could be seen ahead. These 
proved to be at the artillery camp, where one regiment of the enemy had already 
become alarmed by the firing and had saddled up and moved out, only to be 
met by the battalion under Lieutenant-Colonel Lamborn, who at once attacked 

Colonel Palmer thus surprised General Lyon s superior force, routed him and 
took over one hundred prisoners, a piece of artillery and munitions of war with the 
loss of only one man, Sergeant Lyon. 


1P\URING the siege of Petersburg, Va., which com- 
*-* menced with the investment of that city by the 
Federal forces during the early part of June, 1864, it 
became the aim of General Grant to flank the posi 
tion of the enemy by swinging to the left. In the 
execution of this movement on Feb. 5, 1865, occurred 
the action at Monk s Neck crossing of the Rowanty 
River, Va., and the engagement at Hatcher s Run on 
the following day. 

Captain S. Rodmond Smith, of Company C, Fourth 
Delaware Infantry, relates the following about this 
affair : 

" To the Fifth Army Corps was assigned the duty 
of initiating this movement, and the third brigade of 
the second division of this corps was under arms, with 
tents struck and three days rations in their haver 
sacks, all the preceding night, and about sunrise on 
the morning of the 5th was marching by the Halifax 
Road to the west for Monk s Neck Crossing. About 
eight o clock A. M. the brigade was halted in the road 
about a quarter of a mile east of our objective point. 
It was ascertained that the bridge over the crossing 
had been burned to prevent the passage of our troops, and that substantial entrench 
ments had been erected on the bluff bordering the margin of the stream on the 
opposite side. A regiment of Pennsylvania " Bucktails," out of our brigade, was de 
tailed to cross the stream and carry the works. After some heavy firing the Buck- 
tails were compelled to retire. 


Captain, Co. C, 4th Del. Inf. 
Highest rank attained : 

Brevet Major, U. S. Vols. 
Born at Wilmington, Del., 
April 20, 1841. 


1st Lieut., Co. E, 4th Del. Inf. 
Highest rank attained: 

t :i|>tain, U. S. V. 

Born at Pleasant Hill, Del., 

Feb. 3, 1840. 


"Our regiment, with Major D. H. Kent in command, was then detailed for the 
service, and immediately moved down the road toward the crossing. The ground 
was slightly rolling and open farm-land, except near the bank of the stream, 
where a thin skirt of trees bordered the river, affording some cover. Major Kent, 
finding that the bridge was destroyed, filed the regiment to the right, under heavy 
fire, but somewhat protected by the trees. He then endeavored to lead the regiment 
across the river, but was shot while swimming his horse and was carried to the rear. 


* There was considerable floating ice in the stream, and the regiment, seeing the 
depth of the water, did not cross, but continued to move slowly to the right, keeping 
up a brisk fire on the enemy. At a point some two or three hundred feet farther to 
the right I observed some bushes projecting from the water, and, thinking this an 
indication that the water was shallow enough to wade, called on my command to 
follow me, and sprang into the stream. The water proved to be over six feet deep 
within that distance from the shore, but I was a strong swimmer, and although 


encumbered by a haversack, belt and cape overcoat, succeeded in reaching a small 
island in mid-stream, under a heavy plunging fire which splashed the water around 
me. In the meantime the regiment moved cautiously forward among the scattered 
trees to the right, and shortly after crossed the stream to the island upon the ice 
which had formed during the preceding two days and nights and the fallen logs 
frozen to the surface. From thence all hands slid and waded to the opposite shore 
and we carried the enemy s entrenchments with a rush, capturing some fifty or sixty 
rebels. The remainder of their forces had retired before we reached their works. 
After a short time spent in re-forming the regiment we pushed ahead in quick time 
until the evening and on the following day participated in the action at Hatcher s 
Run, Virginia." 

Lieutenant David E. Buckingham, also of the Fourth Delaware Regiment, had 
an experience similar to that of Captain Smith, and describes it as follows : 

"I was in command of Company E, on the extreme right of the regiment, and 
the movement by the right flank threw me at the head of my command. As we 
passed General Ayres, our Division Commander, I heard him say to Major Kent: 
You are expected to carry the bridge, if you lose every man! I knew that such an 
order meant business, and as we broke into a double-quick and came under fire the 
men gave a lusty cheer, and down the road we went with Major Kent riding at my 
side. We reached the bridge only to discover that it had been effectually destroyed, 
filed to the right, and as soon as we had cleared the road and were fairly in the 
meadow filed to the left, and in a moment were at the water s edge. 

"The general s command was ringing; in my ears : Carry the bridge if you lose 
every man. It was no time to hesitate or turn back. Three thousand men, our en 
tire brigade, lined the meadow lands, protected by the trees, and a terrible fusillade was 
going on. I stepped on the ice, which extended only six feet from the shore. It broke 
under my weight and I struck out for the rebel side and was soon beyond my depth, 
but I swam to the south side, the Minie balls skimming the water all around me. 

"Reaching the bank, I clutched a projecting stump root and took a view of the 
situation from the water. Harvey Durnall, John Bradford and Holton Yarnall, of 
my command, waded in up to their waists, but, discovering the depth of the stream, 
fell back. In the meantime Major Kent had been dangerously wounded while 
urging his horse into the water. The water was icy cold and I did not care to scale 
the bank, as I was the only man of the command who crossed the river at the 
bridge, having carried the ford, and the freezing question not the burning one- 
was, could I hold it ? 

" There I remained, waiting for reinforcements, for at least fifteen minutes. But 
our boys were not idle ; far up the stream they had been crossing on felled trees 
and on the ice, and soon I heard them charging down the Confederate side. When 
the enemy discovered they were flanked they beat a retreat and the bridge was ours. 

" I reswam the river and dried my clothes beside a roaring fire which the boys 
had made while the engineers rebuilt the bridge." 





Major, 147th New York Vol. Inf. 

Highest rank attained : 

Major-General Cal. N. G. 

Born in New York City, Feb. 12, 


FIERCE fighting of Hatcher s Run and Dabney s Mills, 
Va., February 5 and 6, 1865, brought to light numerous 
examples of individual bravery among officers and men. 
Valorous deeds are narrated of several men who were re 
warded with the Medal of Honor, as follows : 

The Third Brigade, Third Division of the Fifth Army 
Corps, to which Major James Coey s command, the One hun 
dred and forty-seventh New York Infantry, was attached, 
advanced over an open field, under a heavy fire from the 
enemy, who were entrenched in a wood. The brigade line 
of battle reached to the edge of this wood, but owing to the 
fierce fire it refused to advance farther, and lay down, seeking 
shelter on the ground. The brigade commander, General 
Henry A. Morrow, placed himself in front of his command 
and implored the line to move forward, but the effect of the 
enemy s fire had been so appalling that the men hesitated. The situation was most 
critical, because the brigade adjoining Morrow on his right was also sorely pressed 
and its line in danger ; General Crawford, the division commander, was urging 
Morrow s advance, hoping to draw the fire from the right front and relieve the pres 
sure there, but the lines had become terror-stricken. It was at this moment that 
Major Coey, who had, by word and action, been seconding General Morrow s efforts 
to advance the line and hold it to its duty, seized the colors of his regiment and 
advanced with them. The effect was magical ! Color after color was taken until 
the entire brigade line was on its feet and with a cheer advanced into the woods to 
within a few rods of the enemy s works. Here its farther advance was stopped by a 
wide and deep ditch filled with water. 

Major Coey communicated the situation to General Morrow, now in the rear of 
the line, who, seeing the fast thinning ranks of his command, and the hopelessness 
of advancing, ordered the line back to the edge of the wood, there to entrench. The 
major then called the attention of the brigade commander to the lack of ammuni 
tion, hardly five rounds to a man being left, whereupon General Morrow ordered the 
brigade to meet any advance of the enemy with the bayonet and go on entrenching. 
Coey immediately ordered the men to obtain cartridges from the dead and wounded 

Hatcher s Rim and Dalmey s Mills. Early in February, 1865, a second attempt was made to gain possession 
of the South Side Railroad, near Hatcher s Run, which resulted in the battle of that name and included the 
actions at Dabney s Mills, Rowaiity Creek, and Gravelly Run. The battle began February 5th and lasted 
until the 7th, when the Confederates were forced to retire with a loss of 1,000 and their commander, General 
John IVgram. The Union loss was 2,000, the greater portion of which belonged to Crawford s Division, 
which was driven back by the Confederates in great confusion. 


lying along his front, and to make obstructions to retard the enemy s advance by 
bending and intertwining young saplings. In this work he was setting his men an 
example, when the Confederates, now reinforced by artillery, opened a fierce and 
destructive fire, and made a spirited advance on the front and flank, driving the 
Union line back. 

At this juncture Major Coey was severely wounded a bullet entering below the 
left eye and passing out behind the right ear and was being borne from the field 
in the arms of two comrades when consciousness returned. Immediately he pro 
cured a horse from an ambulance sergeant, and being lifted into the saddle and 
held there by two of his men he turned to the line and, rallying it, for the second 
time made a heroic attempt to check the advance of the enemy. 

Four times on this day the One hundred and seventh Pennsylvania Infantry, to 
which Sergeant John C. Delaney belonged, had charged on the enemy s works, and 
each time had been beaten back. In each of these charges many brave men fell 
close to the enemy, who were thoroughly protected behind impregnable fortifica 
tions, but Sergeant Delaney had the wounded of Company I, his own company, and 
Company D, which was also under his command, carried back, so that none were 
left between the lines. It was when his regiment had been forced back for the 
fourth time that Sergeant Delaney found himself up against the line of entrench 
ments that had been hastily thrown up by the Federal troops. The momentum of 
the backward movement had been so great that he could not check himself until 
the Avail of earth stopped his run. 

There he stood, surrounded by wounded men belonging to Company D, and 
heard his name called on all sides by its members begging to be helped off the 
field. The whole regiment had reached the safe side of their line of works, while he 
alone stood outside facing the enemy, with the pitiful appeals of the wounded ringing 
in his ears, and the bullets falling like hail around him. To add to the horror of 
the situation he now noticed that the dry leaves and underbrush had caught fire 
and that it was only a question of a few minutes before the wounded men \vould be 
burned alive. Rushing to the surviving members of Company D, he appealed to them 
to assist in saving their wounded comrades ; but to his surprise and dismay they 
refused, several saying that it would be certain death to make the attempt. They 
begged him to get over the works, convinced that he would be riddled with bullets, 
or worse, burned alive. The sergeant then appealed to his own men, but not one of 
them would venture in that shower of lead. Alone he rushed out, picked up a 
wounded soldier much heavier than himself and started back, reaching the line of 
works, where many willing hands were stretched out to help lift the wounded man 
over. The sergeant s splendid example made such an impression on his comrades 
that several were now willing to join him in the perilous work, and in a short time 
all the wounded had been brought in ; but scarcely were the rescuers over the line 
when every foot of ground was in flames. Several of the men were wounded 


while struggling with their burdens, and they in turn had to be rescued from the 
fire, each unfortunate thus saved adding to the glory of his comrades. 

The Thirteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, which was stationed at Hatcher s Run, 
accomplished one of the most gallant charges of the day. With drawn sabres the 
line swept down upon the Thirty-third 
North Carolina Infantry, and a severe 
hand-to-hand fight followed. Sergeant 
Daniel Caldwell, of Company H, charged 
upon the color-guard, and knocking aside 
the bayonets ready to receive him, he 
seized the colors. Upon turning about 
to rejoin his regiment he espied a rebel 
officer and his staff coming toward 
him. Not waiting for them to charge 
him he put spurs to his horse and dashed 
at them. The next moment he was seen 
slashing and parrying with his sabre in 
his right hand, while with his left he 
managed his horse and retained the 
captured flag. A few severe strokes and 
he had cut a path through the enemy 
and safely regained his regiment. 

While the battle was raging on the 
5th the Two hundred and tenth Penn 
sylvania Infantry was close to the scene 
of action, but did not reach the battle- (DJOHNM.VANDERSLICE, 
field until noon of the 6th. Shortly 
after noon it reached a position on the 
extreme left of the line of battle and at 
once pressed forward, driving the enemy 
quite a distance through the woods 
until they reached their reserve line, 
stationed on a low ridge. Here the 
rebels fought with renewed energy and, 
with the additional hail of lead from 
their reserve poured into the Union 

troops, the Federal line began to waver, then gradually fall back. One of the 
regiments of the brigade was thrown into utter confusion and its color-bearer 

Private Charles Day, of Company K, TW T O hundred and tenth Regiment, ran to 
the fallen colors and, picking them up, carried them throughout the remainder of 
the battle. 

Private, Co. D. 8th Pa. Cav. 
Highest rank attained : 

Brig.-Gen.Pa. N.G. 

Born at Valley Forge, Pa., 



1st Sergt.,Co. G,88th Pa. Inf. 
Born Oct. 14, 1837. 



Sergeant, Co. H, 13th Pa. Cav. 

Born in Montgomery 

Co., Pa. 


Private, Co. K. 210th Pa. Inf. 

Born at West Laurens, 

N.Y., May 20,1844. 


Sergeant, Co. D, 107th Pa. Inf. 

Born in Ireland, 

April 22, 1848. 


After having engaged the enemy s cavalry and also capturing a wagon train, on 
the 5th, Gregg s Cavalry Division, without rest of any kind, confronted the enemy 
again on the 6th. Although the men had now been in the saddle for nearly twenty- 
four hours there was no hesitation when the charge was sounded to repulse a sudden 
heavy assault of the enemy on an infantry division. Having accomplished their 
task, they held the line, dismounted, until the infantry had returned, when the rebel 
skirmish line was driven to the edge of the clearing, where within two hundred 
yards was a line of rebel works. The fire from these was very heavy, particularly 
from a party of sharpshooters in a house within the works. Orders were given for a 
general charge, and at the sound of the bugle the line dashed forward, carrying the 
works, which were first entered by Private John M. Vanderslice, of Company D, 
Eighth Pennsylvania Cavalry, whose speedy horse carried him far in advance and 
made him the leader of the line, in which position he received the undivided atten 
tion of the rebels. 

Assistant Surgeon Jacob F. Raub, of the Two hundred and tenth Pennsylvania 
Infantry, was one of the board of operating surgeons of the field hospital of the 
Fifth Army Corps, established in the rear and beyond the reach of rebel shot and 
shell, but when he learned that his regiment w r as without a surgeon he volunteered 
to accompany it in the fight and obtained permission from the surgeon in charge of 
the field hospital to do so. 

While attending to the wounded under a severe fire, he discovered a strong 
column of the enemy stealing by the left flank to the rear of the Federals. The 
whole division was heavily engaged at this time, and no enemy was expected or 
supposed to be in that direction. Raub, realizing the imminent danger of an attack 
on flank and rear, ran forward under a severe fire and apprised General Ayres and 
General Gwyn of the threatened danger. This prompt and intelligent action gave 
time to change the direction of part of Gwyn s brigade to meet the flank attack, 
and severely repulse the enemy. During the excitement of the repulse Surgeon 
Raub, though a non-combatant, took the musket and ammunition from a wounded 
soldier and fought gallantly in the ranks until the end of the engagement. 

Other brave deeds performed on this eventful day are chronicled as follows : 

During one of the charges of the Eighty-eighth Pennsylvania Infantry, First 
Sergeant William Sands, of Company G, was in advance of his company and in the 
face of a deadly fire he grasped the enemy s colors and brought them into the 
Union lines. 

First Lieutenant Francis M. Smith, adjutant of the First Maryland Infantry, 
voluntarily remained behind with the body of his regimental commander under a 
heavy fire after the whole brigade had retired, and brought the body off the field. 
Corporal John Thompson, of Company C, and Corporal Abel G. Cadwallader, of Com 
pany M, of the same regiment, planted the national and state flags on the enemy s 
works in advance of the regiment s arrival. 




Major, 8th N. Y. Cavalry, 

Highest rank attained : 

Brigadier-General, Ore. N. G. 

Born at Tyre, Seneca Co., N. Y., 

May 4, 1845. 

T EAVING Winchester, Va., on February 27, 1865, General 
*-* Sheridan began his inarch to Petersburg, Va., with 
the intention of destroying the Central Railroad and James 
River Canal. General Early with a large Confederate force 
stood ready to oppose and frustrate, if possible, the expe 
dition, and upon learning of the approach of the Federals 
went into position at Waynesboro, Va. The two armies 
clashed March 2d. The rain had been pouring in torrents 
for two days and the roads were bad beyond description ; 
nevertheless the Union men seemed tireless, although 
neither they nor their horses could be recognized for the 
mud which covered them. General Early had at his dis 
posal two brigades of infantry and some cavalry under 
General Rosser, the infantry occupying breastworks. Gen 
eral Custer was ordered to attack the enemy and, not want 
ing the Confederates to get up their courage during the delay that a careful reconnois- 
sance necessitated, made his dispositions for attack at once, sending three regiments 
around the left flank of the enemy, which was somewhat exposed by being advanced 
from, instead of resting upon, the bank of the river in his immediate rear. "Our 
general committed an unpardonable error in posting so small a force with a swollen 
river in its rear and with its flanks wholly exposed," says a Confederate report of 
General Early s position. General Custer with two brigades, partly mounted and 
partly dismounted, at a given signal boldly attacked and impetuously carried the 
enemy s works, while the Eighth New York and the Twenty-second New York 
Cavalry formed in columns of fours, dashed over the breastworks and continued the 
charge through the little town of Waynesboro, the Twenty-second supporting the 
Eighth New York. The Eighth crossed the South Fork of the Shenandoah River- 
General Early s rear where they formed with drawn sabres and held the east bank 
of the stream. The enemy being now pressed by Custer found their retreat cut off, 
and, completely disorganized, confused, bewildered, threw down their arms. Amidst 
cheers and hurrahs the victorious Federals surrounded their brave opponents. 

The substantial result of this magnificent victory was the capture of the Confed 
erate General Wharton and some 1,800 officers and men, fourteen pieces of artillery, 
seventeen battle-flags and a train of nearly two hundred wagons and ambulances, 

Waynesboro, Ya. General Custer advanced, on March 2, 1865, from Staunton to Waynesboro, Va., 
where he found the enemy, under General Early, and engaged him. The result of the battle was the 
capture of a large number of prisoners, the enemy s artillery and wagon train, by the Union forces ; and 
the opening of the roads for unresisted advance along the James River and all the roads and means of 
supply north of Richmond. 

including General Early s headquarters wagon, containing all his official papers and 
records, 1,500 stands of small arms and 800 team horses and mules. 

It was a battle where the Eighth New York Cavalry, under the gallant leadership 
of Major Hartwell B. Compson, earned undying fame. The major himself performed 
wonderful feats of bravery and set an example which electrified his men and inspired 
them to deeds of splendid heroism. At the head of his troops who were selected to 


make the attack, he charged 
down the highway into Wayiies- 
boro. The enemy had five pieces 
of artillery in the roadway and 
had thrown up earthworks on 
each side of the road ; behind 
these breastworks infantry was posted. He was at the head of his command with a 
color-bearer on one side and a bugler on the other, when they struck the Confederate 
forces and a hand-to-hand fight took place. Just then General Early and his staff 
moved down their front to direct the movement of the Confederate forces. 

Coming upon Early s headquarters battle-flag he ordered the bearer to surrender. 
A fierce fight at close quarters ensued and finally a heavy blow with the sabre knocked 
his opponent from his horse and the flag was captured. 



Second Lieut., Co. H, 8th 

N. Y. Cavalry. 
Highest rank attained : 


Born at Harlem, N. Y., 
December 18, 1833. 


Second Lieut., Co. G, 8th 

X. Y. Cavalry. 
Highest rank attained : 


Born in South Livonia, 
New York, 1838. 

Breaking through the Confederates, he moved his forces down towards South 
River and kept up the charge until he reached the bank. Seeing that the enemy 
were closing in on his rear and that his support did not come up, he crossed the river 
and found earthworks thrown up on the opposite side from which the enemy could 
have prevented their crossing had they occupied them. He at once dismounted his 
men and placed them in the Confederate earthworks. Then when Custer pressed 
down upon the rebels they were forced to cross the river, where they were ordered 

to surrender. The result was that 

when the battle was over Colonel 

Compson s command alone had taken 

800 prisoners five pieces of artillery, 

1,500 stands of small arms and eight 


Being needed no longer at the ford, 

Compson, who had noticed the enemy 

moving their wagon-trains over the 

mountains by way of Rock Fish Gap, 

followed with his regiment, overhauled 

it and captured everything in sight. 

It was in this action where Second Lieu 
tenant Robert Niven, of Company H, of the 
same regiment, had a hot encounter with a 
body of rebels. "I was ordered to pick out five men from my company," says 
the lieutenant, "to go ahead as an advance guard and we pressed along the narrow, 
hilly road, densely lined with woods. By this time the atmosphere was quite 
foggy. I had gotten far in advance of my comrades when suddenly I found 
myself right in the mids